For the first time since the conflict in Ukraine started, a western leader met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and called the talks “tough.”
Several media outlets reported that Australian Chancellor Karl Nehammer released a statement after meeting with Putin on Monday.
"This is not a friendly visit," Nehammer was quoted in a statement issued by his office, Reuters reported. Nehammer then added that the conversation was “direct, open and tough.”
Nehammer continued to call for the end of the conflict. While the chancellor gave a brief statement about the meeting, he revealed no details about what Putin had to say in response, Reuters reported.
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"My most important message to Putin was that this war must finally end, because in a war there are only losers on both sides," Nehammer said.
Austria is the first allied-European country to meet with Putin since the invasion of Ukraine started weeks ago. Austria isn’t a member of NATO, but is part of the European Union that issued sanctions against Russia, Putin and others.
The U.S. has also issued sanctions against Moscow.
Ukraine has accused Russia of war crimes and targeting civilians during the invasion. Photos and videos have shown mass graves of non-military members in the eastern European country.