Kremlin: Putin open to dialogue, but the West must accept Moscow’s requests. PHOTO/Reuters
The statement was released by the Kremlin, a day after US President Joe Biden said he was willing to talk to Putin about ending the war in Ukraine.
Biden, speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, said the only way to end the war in Ukraine is for Putin’s troops to withdraw and that if Putin wants to end the conflict Biden would be ready to talk to the chief of the Kremlin.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded when asked about Biden’s remarks. He said Putin remained open to negotiations, but that Russia would not withdraw from Ukraine.
“The president of the Russian Federation has always been, is and remains open to negotiations to ensure our interests,” Peskov told reporters, as reported by Reuters.
Putin said he has no regrets about launching what he called Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine, marking it as the watershed moment when Russia finally stood up to arrogant Western hegemony after decades of humiliation in the years following the fall of the Soviets in 1991 .
Ukraine and the West say Putin has no justification for what they call an imperial-style war of occupation. Ukraine says it will fight until the last Russian soldier is removed from its territory.
Russia has claimed about a fifth of Ukraine’s post-Soviet territory, an annexation the West and Ukraine have said they would accept. Peskov said the US refusal to recognize Russia’s “new territory” was hampering the search for a potential compromise.
Asked whether Biden’s framing of potential contacts means negotiations are impossible from a Russian perspective, Peskov said: “Basically, that’s what Biden said. He said negotiations are only possible after Putin left Ukraine”.
According to Peskov, the Kremlin cannot accept this and Russia’s military operations will continue in Ukraine. “But at the same time – it is very important to put it together – President Putin was, is and remains open to contact, to negotiation. Of course, the most privileged way to achieve our interests is through peaceful diplomatic means,” he said. explained.