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Exclusive Interview with Russian President Putin: Ukraine, NATO, China, and More

We are ready to negotiate if Ukraine sits at the table, said the Russian president

The US blew up Nord Stream, Putin believes

“We did not start the war in 2022, this is an attempt to stop it,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin in his exclusive interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson. The TV presenter is the first Western journalist to have a face-to-face conversation with Putin since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2022.

As the interview with Carlson began, he seemed to “lose track” of what they were actually talking about due to Putin’s historical and lengthy explanation. The President delved into the history of Russia and how it led to his decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022.

Carlson seemed slightly taken aback by the lengthy explanation, admitting at one point: “I’m losing track of where we are in the story.” After the logorrhoea about Russia in the 17th century, he adds: “I’m not sure why this is relevant to what happened two years ago.”


Regarding the topic of NATO, Putin indicated that during a meeting in the Kremlin with the outgoing US President Bill Clinton, he asked him: “Do you think that if Russia wants to join NATO, it will happen?”. Clinton replied, “I think so.” Later, however, the two sat down to dinner and Clinton said, “I talked to my team. No, that’s not possible now.” “You can ask him. I think he will watch our interview, he will confirm it,” Putin also commented.

Pressed by Carlson on whether he would join NATO, Putin explained: “If he had said yes, a rapprochement process would have started, and eventually that could have happened if we had seen some sincere desire on the part of our partners . But that didn’t happen.”

“The promise was that NATO would not expand to the east. But this happened five times. There were five waves of expansion. We endured all this. We tried to convince them. We said: ‘Please don’t do it,'” explained the Russian president .

George W. Bush pushed NATO expansion across Eastern Europe to Ukraine, Putin claimed, calling the former US president a “tough politician.” “The five waves of expansion – the Baltic States, all of Eastern Europe and so on. And now essentially – they have come to Ukraine as well.”

“After all, in 2008, at the summit in Bucharest, they announced that the doors were open for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO. President Bush, and he is such a strong man, a strong politician, as I was told later , put pressure on us and we had to agree. This is ridiculous,” the president commented.


The West is more afraid of China than of Russia, Putin believes, and in his words the country’s potential is “enormous”. “The West fears a strong China more than a strong Russia, because Russia has 150 million people and China’s population is 1.5 billion.” “The economy there is growing by leaps and bounds – by 5% per year. It used to be even more, but this is enough for China. As Bismarck once said: potentials are the most important. China’s potential is huge,” commented Putin.


The President discussed the potential membership of Ukraine in NATO. He pointed out that in 2014 there was a “coup” and that Ukraine “started to persecute those who did not accept the coup”. “They created a threat to Crimea, which we should have taken under our protection,” the Russian president said, referring to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, which is not recognized by most countries around the world.

Putin also claimed that Ukraine “started the war” in eastern Donbas in 2014 “with the use of aircraft and artillery against civilians.” At that time, Russia seized parts of the Ukrainian region and declared them independent states.

Putin stated: “How could we not express concern about what is happening? It would be negligence on our part. It’s just that the political leadership of the United States pushed us to the limit that we could not cross, because it could destroy Russia itself” – a familiar narrative of Putin, who has repeatedly stated that Russia’s very existence is at risk.

The war in Ukraine

Asked why he launched the invasion of Ukraine, Putin said he decided to take action after the Ukrainian leadership “said they will not implement the Minsk agreements.” The Minsk agreements were intended to end the war in Donbas, which was fought between armed Russian separatist groups and Ukraine’s armed forces.

Carlson asks if Putin has tried to talk to the US about this, and if he has made it clear that he will act if Ukraine is militarized with NATO forces.
“We talked about this all the time. We appealed to the leadership of the USA and European countries to immediately stop this development of events, to implement the Minsk agreements,” explained the Russian president.

He then claimed that Ukraine started the original war in 2014 – in which Russia illegally annexed Crimea. “We did not start the war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it,” Putin was categorical.

Carlson questions whether the Russian president achieved his goals during the war. “No. We have not yet achieved our goals, because one of them is denazification,” Putin replied, a clear message that Russia is not yet ready to back down in Ukraine. Putin has repeatedly accused Ukraine of being Nazi, even though the Ukrainian president is Jewish.

Carlson also asked, “Would you be satisfied with the territory you have now?” The Russian president seemed to avoid the question and continued to talk about denazification.

Asked when he last spoke with the American president, Vladimir Putin replied: “I can’t remember when I spoke with him.” Pressed again, the Russian president pointed out: “Why do I have to remember everything? I have my own things to do. We have domestic political affairs.” He then confirmed that he had not spoken to Joe Biden since February 2022, when the invasion of Ukraine began. Carlson asked Putin why he didn’t call Biden to “work things out,” to which the Russian president replied, “What’s there to work out? If you really want to stop the war, you have to stop supplying weapons. Then it will end in within a few weeks”.

The Russian president denied that he wanted to expand the country’s territory or send troops to Poland. Putin said he would only do so if Poland attacked Russia because “we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else”.

Carlson pointed out, “The argument is, ‘He invaded Ukraine. He has territorial goals across the continent.” And you say unequivocally that you don’t.” Putin again denied and categorically stated that this was “absolutely out of the question”. “It defies common sense to engage in any kind of global war, and one that would bring all of humanity to the brink of destruction. That much is obvious,” the president said.

“Nordic Stream”

Carlson asked, “Who blew up Nord Stream?”, to which Putin replied, “Of course you.” The former presenter joked that he was “busy that day”. The Russian president added: “You personally may have an alibi, but the CIA does not.” Asked if he had evidence that NATO or the CIA were behind the blasts, Putin said “I won’t go into details” but that “someone who has interest and capabilities should be looked for.”

The WSJ journalist is still behind bars in Russia

The Russian president was asked about Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been in a Russian prison for almost a year. The US claims he is being wrongfully detained on espionage charges. Carlson asks if Putin would be willing to release Gershkovich “as a sign of your honor.” The president replied: “We’ve made so many goodwill gestures that I think we’ve run out of them. We’ve never seen anyone reciprocate like this.”

However, he said he “does not rule out” the return of the journalist if the US takes “reciprocal steps”.
“We are ready to solve the issue, but there are certain conditions that are being discussed through the channels of the special services. I believe that an agreement can be reached,” Putin said.


Carlson asks Putin if he is concerned that the war in Ukraine “could lead to something much bigger and much more terrible.” The president denied that Russia refused to talk: “We are ready to negotiate.” The familiar expression of the Russian president is viewed with great skepticism by Western countries.

“You must tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and sit down at the negotiating table, to cancel this absurd decree. We have not refused,” Putin was categorical.

On whether NATO should accept Russian control over occupied territories in Ukraine, Putin said it would be “impossible” to defeat his troops on the battlefield.
“Until now, noise was raised and shouts were heard about inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield. But apparently they have already begun to realize that this is difficult to achieve, if at all possible,” he pointed out. “In my opinion, this is impossible. It will never happen. It seems to me that now the rulers in the West have also realized this.”

Relations between Russia and Ukraine will “strengthen”, Putin also said. “This endless mobilization in Ukraine, the hysteria, the internal problems, sooner or later will lead to an agreement. It must sound strange, given the current situation. But relations between the two peoples will be restored anyway. It will take a long time, but they will get stronger,” Putin pointed out.

Elon Musk

Putin praised Elon Musk as a “very smart person” who can help the world find a safe way to use artificial intelligence. “I think there is no way to stop Elon Musk. He will do what he deems necessary. However, you will have to find some common language with him,” the president pointed out.

“I think he’s a smart guy. So you’re going to have to come to an agreement with him because this AI process needs to be formalized and subject to certain rules,” the president said.

2024-02-08 23:10:00
#Putin #journalist #Tucker #Carlson #Clinton #denied #Russia #entry #NATO #Video

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