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Austrian Chancellor Emphasizes Need for Russian Involvement in Ukraine Conflict Resolution

Paris, April 07, 2024, The Europe Today: Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has underscored the essential role of Russian participation in resolving the Ukraine conflict, emphasizing that peace negotiations must involve all key stakeholders, including Russia.

In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro on Friday, Chancellor Nehammer reiterated the importance of Western solidarity with Kiev while also advocating for a strategic approach towards ending the conflict. He highlighted the necessity of including Russia at the negotiating table for any meaningful progress towards peace.

Reflecting on past efforts, Chancellor Nehammer recalled his visit to Moscow in April 2022, during which direct talks between Moscow and Kiev were still underway. He lamented the current lack of dialogue due to Russia’s apparent reluctance to engage in negotiations but stressed the imperative of resuming diplomatic discussions when feasible.

“The Ukraine conflict can only be resolved if Russia is present at the negotiating table,” affirmed Chancellor Nehammer. He acknowledged the challenging nature of the situation but emphasized the necessity of dialogue for achieving lasting peace.

The chancellor referenced previous rounds of talks between Moscow and Kiev, particularly centered on Ukrainian neutrality, which initially showed promise but later encountered setbacks. He noted that ongoing diplomacy is crucial despite existing obstacles, highlighting the need for renewed efforts towards dialogue.

Regarding disagreements within the European context, Chancellor Nehammer mentioned differences with French President Emmanuel Macron concerning support for Ukraine and approaches towards engagement with Russia. While both leaders advocate for supporting Ukraine and eventual diplomacy, they diverge on specific strategies.

“I am in favor of the precautionary principle,” stated Chancellor Nehammer, contrasting Macron’s preference for deterrence. He acknowledged the validity of elements in Macron’s approach given Russia’s assertiveness but stressed the importance of cautious diplomacy to prevent further escalation.

In light of recent developments, including warnings from Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu against potential NATO troop deployments in Ukraine, Chancellor Nehammer emphasized the need for strategic diplomacy and cautious decision-making to navigate the complex dynamics of the Ukraine conflict.