Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Austrian diplomacy in Moscow

Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer held “direct, open and tough” talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, in a visit that drew mixed European reactions including surprise, scepticism and condemnation. Nehammer is the first European Union leader to meet Putin since he ordered his troops to invade Ukraine on Feb. 24. Nehammer has expressed solidarity with Ukraine over the Russian invasion and denounced apparent Russian war crimes there, while his government has joined other EU countries in expelling Russian diplomats, albeit only a fraction of the large Russian diplomatic presence there. In a statement after the meeting, Nehammer said the discussion with Putin was “very direct, open and tough”. He added that his most important message to Putin was that the war in Ukraine must end because “in a war there are only losers on both sides”. (https://news.yahoo.com/austrian-leader-holds-open-tough-143824553.html) A spokesman for Nehammer said on Monday afternoon that the meeting went ahead at Putin’s official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.

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