Kremlin says Putin is open to talks about Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin is open to talks about a possible settlement of the conflict in Ukraine and believes in a diplomatic solution, the Kremlin said on Friday after Joe Biden indicated he was ready to speak to the Russian leader.

Biden, speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, said the only way to end the war in Ukraine is for Putin to withdraw troops, and that Biden is ready to speak to the Kremlin chief if Putin ends the conflict wool.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov struck a cautious tone when asked about Biden’s remarks, saying Putin remains open to negotiations but Russia will not pull out of Ukraine.

“The President of the Russian Federation was, is and always will be open to negotiations to protect our interests,” Peskov told reporters.

Putin said he had no regrets about launching Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine, calling it a turning point as Russia finally stood up to arrogant Western hegemony after decades of humiliation in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 Union.

Biden said he would be willing to speak with Putin, even French President Emmanuel Macron, during a vacation.
Evelyn Hockstein/REUTERS

Ukraine and the West say Putin has no justification for what they call an imperial war of occupation. Ukraine wants to fight until the last Russian soldier is expelled from its territory.

Russia has claimed around a fifth of Ukraine’s post-Soviet territory, the West and Ukraine say they will ever accept annexations.

Peskov said the United States’ refusal to recognize “the new territories” as Russian hampered the search for a possible compromise.

When asked whether the way Biden frames potential contacts means that negotiations are impossible from a Russian perspective, Peskov said: “Basically, that’s what Biden said. He said that negotiations will only be possible after Putin leaves Ukraine.”

The Kremlin, Peskov said, could not accept that – and the Russian military operation in Ukraine would continue.

“But at the same time – it is very important to put this in context – President Putin was, is and remains open to contacts, to negotiations. Of course, the best way to assert our interests is the peaceful, diplomatic way.”

The conflict has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides and sparked the largest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Kremlin says Putin is open to talks about Ukraine


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