Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in a face-to-face meeting Austria has positioned as an opportunity to send Putin "a very clear political message," and tell him "the truth" about the war in Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.
The sit-down will be Putin's first with a Western leader since the Kremlin officially mounted its invasion back in February, per the Post.
"It makes a difference to be face to face and tell him what the reality is: that this president has de facto lost the war morally," said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
"It should be in his own interest that someone tells him the truth," Schallenberg continued, per Reuters. "I think it is important and we owe it to ourselves if we want to save human lives."
Volodymyr Zelensky is aware of the trip, said Nehammer, who met with the Ukrainian President on Saturday. European Union leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michael, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have also been informed of the sit-down, per The Guardian.
Austria is calling for "humanitarian corridors, a ceasefire, and the full investigation of war crimes," The Guardian writes. The country is not a part of NATO.
The meeting arrives as Zelensky has warned Russia plans to shift its operations to eastern Ukraine, The Guardian notes. Last week, much of the international focus was on the carnage out of the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, discovered once Ukrainian forces retook the area. The bloodshed raised allegations of Russian war crimes.