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Putin Urges US To Persuade Ukraine For Negotiation

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Putin Urges US To Persuade Ukraine For Negotiation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Washington to recognise Moscow’s interests and persuade Ukraine to sit down for talks.

In an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Putin also said Russia stands ready to negotiate a potential prisoner exchange that would free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained last March on espionage charges he denies, and hinted that Moscow wants the release of an agent imprisoned in Germany.

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Most of the interview, which was released on Thursday, focused on Ukraine where the war is nearing the two-year mark.

Mr Putin repeated his claim that his invasion of Ukraine, which Kyiv and its allies described as an unprovoked act of aggression, was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.

He pointed at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to conduct talks with the Kremlin and argued that it is up to Washington to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and convince Kyiv, which he called a US “satellite”, to sit down for negotiations.

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According to Putin, “We have never refused negotiations.” “You should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to a negotiating table.”

Mr Putin warned that the West will never succeed in inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Russia in Ukraine and rejected allegations that Russia was harbouring plans to attack Poland or other Nato countries.

It was Mr Putin’s first interview with Western media since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

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White House national security spokesman John Kirby tried to minimise the impact of the interview ahead of its release, saying: “Remember, you’re listening to Vladimir Putin. And you shouldn’t take at face value anything he has to say.”

Mr Putin has heavily limited his contact with international media since he launched the war in Ukraine in February 2022.

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