Russian President Vladimir Putin told state television Sunday that Moscow is ready to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine. At the same time, he declared that the West is making any talks overdrawing the conflict to a close nearly impossible.
Putin tells state TV he is “ready for peace talks” and is “prepared to negotiate” an end to the war with Ukraine, but it is up to the West. pic.twitter.com/zHi3wSgMrF
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) December 26, 2022
Putin stated that the Kremlin is “ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions.” He added that it is up to Ukraine and its allies to come to the bargaining table and that he is not the one refusing to negotiate.
Russia’s willingness likely hinges on Kiev’s readiness to discuss territorial concessions plus control of Crimea. This runs counter to what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the U.S. Congress last week.
On Wednesday, the president pledged nothing short of “absolute victory,” and demanded the U.S. support such a victory. He also repeatedly rejected the notion of talks of concession of Ukrainian land as a non-starter.
Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak pushed back against Putin’s offer, saying the Russian leader “needs to come back to reality.”
In the same Sunday interview, Putin said that geopolitics is at the core of the Western alliance against his country’s conflict with Ukraine. He also stated that the West wants to “tear apart” Russia and is using the conflict to engage in a proxy war.
Putin said the West is driven by “the policy…to tear apart Russia, the historical Russia.” He accused the U.S. and NATO of attempting to “divide and conquer,” while his objective is “to unite the Russian people.”
Calling it a “war” when the engagement was previously referred to as a “special military operation,” Putin said to “end this war” is what the Kremlin is striving to do.
Joe Biden’s State Department responded to Putin’s words by stating, “Putin called the war what it is.”
After Zelensky addressed Congress, both chambers approved a massive $45 billion aid package for Ukraine and sent it to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature. The conflict, West’s funding for Ukraine’s military will perpetuate the war longer than Ukraine would be able to carry out operations alone, which means the war will likely continue on if there are no negotiations.