After his visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer gave an interview to CNN. “I wanted to confront Putin with what I saw: the war crimes, the dead soldiers and the need to end the war,” Nehammer told the TV station.
CNN presenter Becky Anderson was particularly interested in Putin’s mental state: “He was very clear in his statements,” answered the Chancellor. “In his own view, Putin must defend the Russian Federation and the Russians in eastern Ukraine. I think we have to expect that the war will continue.” And: “Putin is completely in his own war logic. I think that’s very dangerous.”
On the other hand, Putin also mentioned the peace talks in Istanbul. “I think there might be a chance here to end the war.” Nehammer can only give his impressions. After all: “Putin himself mentioned the peace talks.”
Nehammer had previously discussed the visit in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, emphasized the Chancellor and asked Zelenskyj whether it made sense. The President of Ukraine then told him “that there is an urgent need to create humanitarian corridors for the residents of Mariupol.” There are numerous wounded and the residents have no water or electricity. He also confronted Putin with this.
Nehammer said he could not say whether his advisors would keep Putin fully informed about the situation in Ukraine. But: “I think it makes sense to go to him and look him in the eye and say: The war has to end. It also makes sense for other heads of state to call Putin. But I personally think it is stronger to go to Kyiv first and then – with the images from there in mind – to confront Putin.”
Regarding the war crimes that Nehammer saw in Ukraine, he said: “I told Putin: We need the UN there.” It was not easy for the Russian President to talk about it. “It’s important to confront him about it. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Others should too. But: You should visit Ukraine first and see the suffering of the Ukrainian people.”
Nehammer revealed more details about his visit in The Pioneer podcast talk. Among other things, it was about Putin’s state of health. In the past there had been rumors about alleged cancer. “He didn’t give me the impression that he wasn’t physically healthy, for example. He was very clear in what he asked for.” You can see and feel that Putin is willing to do anything to achieve his goals.
Putin sees himself rightly and unfairly condemned by the West.