Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer says he held “direct, open, and hard” talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
A statement from Nehammer’s office said the meeting in the Russian capital on April 11, which lasted just over an hour, was not “a visit of friendship.”
“I mentioned the serious war crimes in Bucha and other locations and stressed that all those responsible have to be brought to justice,” Nehammer said in the statement.
Speaking to reporters, Nehammer described Putin as having “massively entered into a logic of war.”
He also said he was pessimistic about the success of negotiations “because peace talks are always very time-intensive while military logic says: ‘Don’t spend too much time and go directly into battle.'”
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Russia has denied it is targeting civilians in its war against Ukraine.
Grisly images emerged this week of dead civilians in the streets of Bucha, a town northeast of Kyiv that was recaptured from Russian invaders. Local officials say more than 300 people were killed by Russian forces in Bucha alone, and around 50 of them were executed. Some of the corpses had their hands tied behind their backs.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called the killings “war crimes” and “genocide.” Western countries have ramped up sanctions against Russia, which has denied the accusations, in reaction to the deaths.