Russian President Putin says ready to negotiate with Ukraine; says ‘no interest in…’
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia is committed to defending its interests but has no intention of extending the conflict in Ukraine to other nations like Poland and Latvia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview on Thursday said that Russia is committed to defending its interests “to the end" but clarified that it has no intention of extending its conflict in Ukraine to encompass other nations like Poland and Latvia.
Putin expressed his belief that it was feasible to negotiate an agreement for the release of US journalist Evan Gershkovich from the Wall Street Journal. Gershkovich has been held in Russia for close to a year, awaiting trial on spying charges. These remarks were made during a lengthy interview lasting over two hours with conservative talk-show host Tucker Carlson, conducted in Moscow on Tuesday.
Asked if he could imagine a scenario in which he would send Russian troops to Poland, a NATO member, Putin replied: “Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don't have any interest."
Putin's remarks were delivered in Russian and later dubbed into English for the interview. He commenced by providing extensive commentary on Russia's relationships with Ukraine, Poland, and other nations.
During a significant portion of the interview, Putin expressed frustration, stating that Ukraine had been close to reaching an agreement to cease hostilities during talks in Istanbul in April 2022. However, according to Putin, Ukraine withdrew from the negotiations once Russian troops pulled back from positions near Kyiv.
“Well now let them think how to reverse the situation," he said. “We're not against it. It would be funny if it were not so sad that. This endless mobilization in Ukraine, the hysteria, the domestic problems, sooner or later it will result in an agreement."
The Russian president said the US had pressing domestic issues to worry about. “Wouldn't it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end," Putin said.
Washington, having provided Ukraine with over $110 billion in aid since Russia's invasion in February 2022, has indicated its reluctance to engage in discussions on Putin's terms.
Putin's last formal interview with a US media outlet occurred in October 2021, conducted by CNBC's Hadley Gamble.
The interview with Carlson coincided with ongoing debates among US lawmakers regarding additional funding for Ukraine's war efforts. It also aired on the same day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy replaced the army chief with his ground forces commander, amidst other developments.
During his time as president and following his defeat by Biden, Trump has frequently lauded Putin and refrained from condemning the invasion of Ukraine. He even claimed that if reelected, he could resolve the conflict in Ukraine within “24 hours," although he did not provide specifics on how he would achieve this.
In contrast, Biden has labelled Putin as a “war criminal" and has prioritized support for Ukraine's democratically elected, pro-Western government as one of the central objectives of his presidency.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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