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Russia has little interest in wider conflict: Putin in interview with American journalist

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks throughout an interview with U.S. tv host Tucker Carlson in Moscow, Russia on February 6, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview that aired on February 8 that Russia will combat for its pursuits “to the end” however has little interest in increasing its conflict in Ukraine to different nations similar to Poland and Latvia.

In his first interview with an American journalist since earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine practically two years in the past, Mr. Putin stated Western leaders had come to appreciate it was unimaginable to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and had been questioning what to do subsequent.

“We are ready for this dialogue,” he stated.

Mr. Putin additionally stated he believed it was potential to achieve an settlement to free U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal, who has been detained in Russia for practically a 12 months and is awaiting trial on spying prices.

Mr. Putin made the feedback in a greater than two-hour interview with conservative talk-show host Tucker Carlson that was performed in Moscow and aired on tuckercarlson.com.

Asked if he may think about a situation by which he would ship Russian troops to Poland, a NATO member, Mr. Putin replied:

“Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest.”

Mr. Putin spoke in Russian and his remarks had been dubbed into English. He started with prolonged remarks about Russia’s relations with Ukraine, Poland and different nations.

Mr. Putin devoted a considerable a part of the interview to complaining that Ukraine had been on the verge of agreeing a deal to finish hostilities at talks in Istanbul in April 2022, however backed away, he stated, as soon as Russian troops withdrew from close to Kyiv.

“Well now let them think how to reverse the situation,” he stated. “We’re not against it. It would be funny if it were not so sad. This endless mobilization in Ukraine, the hysteria, the domestic problems, sooner or later it will result in an agreement.”

The Russian chief stated the U.S. had urgent home points to fret about. “Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end,” Mr. Putin stated.

Washington, which has despatched Ukraine greater than $110 billion in assist since Russia invaded in February 2022, has made clear it has little interest in speaking on Mr. Putin’s phrases

Mr. Putin was final formally interviewed by a U.S. media outlet in October 2021, when CNBC’s Hadley Gamble spoke to him.

The Carlson interview got here as U.S. lawmakers debate whether or not to supply more cash for Ukraine’s conflict effort. It additionally aired the identical day as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy changed the favored military chief along with his floor forces commander.

A procedural vote within the U.S. Senate helped advance a invoice that features $61 billion in new funds for Ukraine, however it faces uncertainty within the Republican-dominated House of Representatives the place dozens of members, notably these carefully allied with former President Donald Trump, have voted towards Ukraine assist.

PROGRESS IN JOURNALIST’S CASE

Mr. Putin stated Russian and American particular companies had been discussing the Gershkovich case and had made some progress.

Mr. Putin recommended that in return, Moscow wished Germany to free Vadim Krasikov, who was convicted of the 2019 homicide of a Chechen dissident in Berlin, though he didn’t point out Krasikov by title.

“There have been many successful examples of these talks crowned with success,” Mr. Putin stated. “Probably this is going to be crowned with success as well but we have to come to an agreement.”

Russia and the United States have agreed high-profile prisoner swaps prior to now – most not too long ago in December 2022 when Moscow traded Brittney Griner, a U.S. basketball star convicted of a medicine offence in Russia – for Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.

The Kremlin stated Mr. Putin agreed to the Carlson interview as a result of the method of the previous Fox News host differed from the “one-sided” reporting of the Ukraine battle by many Western information retailers.

Mr. Carlson is taken into account to have shut connections to Mr. Trump, who is anticipated to be the Republican Party candidate within the November U.S. presidential election.

Complaining in regards to the billions of {dollars} in assist despatched to Kyiv to date, Mr. Trump has referred to as for de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, by which the Biden administration has strongly backed the Zelenskiy authorities.

For his half, Mr. Carlson has stated a lot Western media protection of the conflict is biased in Kyiv’s favor.

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