Biden ‘happy to sit down with Putin’ to discuss ending Ukraine war

WASHINGTON – President Biden on Thursday said he would like to “sit down” with Vladimir Putin to discuss how the Russian tyrant could end his invasion of Ukraine – shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron said only Ukrainian leaders could have a ” convey sustainable peace”.

“Look, there is a way to end this war, a sensible way for Putin to pull out of Ukraine, number one. But it seems he won’t do that,” Biden said at a White House news conference, which was attended by Macron.

Putin “is inflicting unbelievable, unbelievable carnage on the civilian population of Ukraine – he’s bombing kindergartens, hospitals, children’s homes. It’s sick what he’s doing,” Biden said.

“Mr. Putin is – let me choose my words very carefully. I am willing to speak to Mr. Putin if there is indeed an interest in his deciding that he is looking for a way to end the war. That he hasn’t done it yet,” Biden continued.

“If that’s the case, I’ll be happy to sit down with Putin, in consultation with my French friends and my NATO friends, to see what he wants – has in mind.” He didn’t do any of that. I now find what Emmanuel said to be absolutely crucial: we must support the Ukrainian people.”

President Joe Biden
President Biden said Thursday he was ready to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss ending the war in Ukraine.
Getty Images

Shortly before, Macron said only Ukraine could negotiate with Moscow.

“We will never pressure Ukrainians to make a compromise that is not acceptable to them – because they are so brave and fiercely defending their lives, their nation and our principles and because they will never create a lasting peace,” said the French leader said.

“If we want a sustainable peace, we must respect Ukrainians when they decide when and under what conditions to negotiate their territory and future,” Macron said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24 after supporting pro-Moscow insurgents since 2014.
SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Biden previously said he was ready to talk to Putin about the possible release of jailed basketball player Brittney Griner, but not Ukraine.

“If [Putin] came up to me at the G-20 and said I wanted to talk about releasing Griner, I would meet with him. I mean, it would depend,” Biden said in a CNN interview on Oct. 11. “I will not negotiate with Russia to remain in Ukraine, nor is anyone else willing to keep any part of Ukraine.”

Putin signed law in October purporting to annex four partially occupied regions of Ukraine, but Russian troops have suffered a series of humiliating defeats on the battlefield, forcing them to withdraw from the major city of Kherson in southern Ukraine last month – after they had failed in the early days war for the capital Kiev.

A building damaged by Russian strikes
The Russian bombardment has left many Ukrainians without electricity.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

“The idea that Putin will ever defeat Ukraine is unimaginable,” Biden said Thursday.

However, in January Biden reportedly feared a quick Russian victory and allegedly warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that a Russian “sack” of Kiev was imminent. Biden reportedly even offered the Ukrainian leader a flight to safety in February, when the invasion began.

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelenskyj is said to have replied.

A destroyed bridge in Ukraine
Much of Ukraine’s infrastructure lies in ruins after more than 10 months of war.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Biden said Thursday he was confident that Ukraine’s pro-Western government, heavily armed by the US and other NATO countries, would continue to resist.

“Imagine if they tried to occupy this country for the next two, five, ten, 20 years – if they could, if they could. [Putin] miscalculated everything he originally calculated. He thought he would be welcomed with open arms by the Russian-speaking sections of the Ukrainian population,” Biden said.

“So the question is, what’s his decision – how does he get out of this circumstance he’s in? I’m willing to talk if he wants to find out what he’s willing to do. But I will only do it in consultation with my NATO allies. I can’t do it alone.” Biden ‘happy to sit down with Putin’ to discuss ending Ukraine war


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