President Vladimir Putin has expressed his readiness to negotiate with all parties involved over his war against Ukraine.
The Russia president disclosed this in an interview on Sunday.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia since February 24 has caused the biggest war in Europe since World War Two and the largest standoff between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
While the Russian government said it was determined to fight until all of its objectives are met, the Volodimir Zelensky-led Ukrainian government declared that it will not stop until every Russian soldier has been expelled from all of its land.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television.
Putin accused the West of trying to tear Russia apart.
“I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no other choice but to protect our citizens,” Putin said.
Asked if the geopolitical conflict with the West was approaching a dangerous level, Putin said: “I don’t think it’s so dangerous.”
Putin said the West had begun the conflict in 2014 by toppling a pro-Russian Ukrainian president in the Maidan Revolution protests.
Soon after, Russia annexed Crimea and Russian-backed separatist forces began fighting in eastern Ukraine.
“Actually, the fundamental thing here is the policy of our geopolitical opponents which is aimed at pulling apart Russia, historical Russia,” Putin said.
Putin described Russia as a “unique country” and said the vast majority of its people were united in wanting to defend it.
“As for the main part – the 99.9% of our citizens, our people who are ready to give everything for the interests of the Motherland – there is nothing unusual for me here,” Putin said.
“This just once again convinces me that Russia is a unique country and that we have an exceptional people. This has been confirmed throughout the history of Russia’s existence.”
But responding, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Putin needed to return to reality and acknowledge it was Russia which did not want talks.
“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”
Russian attacks on power stations have left millions without electricity this Christmas and President Zelenskiy said Moscow would aim to make the last few days of 2022 dark and difficult.
“Russia has lost everything it could this year. … I know darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to new defeats. But we have to be ready for any scenario,” he said in a video address.
Watch video below:
Russian President Vladimir Putin claims Moscow is ready "to negotiate some acceptable outcomes" with Ukraine.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 26, 2022