Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine, but Kyiv and its Western backers have refused to engage in talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Rossiya 1 state television in an interview aired on Sunday.
“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,” the Russian President said.
“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,” he added.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, took to Twitter to comment on Putin’s claims: “Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens. There are no other “countries, motives, geopolitics.” Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”
Putin accuses West for Ukraine war
In the same interview, Putin accused the West of having begun the conflict in Ukraine in 2014 by toppling a pro-Russian president in the Maidan Revolution protests, Reuters reports.
“Actually, the fundamental thing here is the policy of our geopolitical opponents which is aimed at pulling apart Russia, historical Russia,” the Russian President said, claiming that his goal in the war in Ukraine is to “unite the Russian people.”
As the war in Ukraine enters its eleventh month, the use of the term “historical Russia” implies that Ukrainians and Russians are one people, thus undermining Kyiv’s sovereignty and justifying the offensive, Al Jazeera notes.
Deadly air strikes on Christmas Eve
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022, has triggered the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
As dozens of thousands of displaced Ukrainians prepared to spend their first Christmas away from their war-torn homeland, over ten people were killed and many injured in Russian air strikes on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Saturday on Christmas Eve.
According to Ukrainian President Zelensky, there were no military facilities in the area to justify the target.
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