Putin Interview: Moscow is Ready for Dialog with Ukraine

To reach a peaceful solution, the USA and its allies must stop arming the regime in Kiev

Stop sending arms and ammunition to Ukraine

During a more than two-hour interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered an olive branch to Ukraine, but also sharply criticized the United States, the true “instigators” of conflicts in the world.

“If they really want an end to the war, they just need to stop sending weapons to Ukraine,” said the Russian president, according to whom Kiev was ready, at one point, to make a political decision, but former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “crushed the negotiating table” that could put an end to the Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine in the spring of 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

At the beginning of the interview – the first given to a Western journalist since the start of the armed conflict in Ukraine – Putin outlined his own historical view of the causes of the current confrontation with Ukraine, from the origins of the former Soviet republic to the independence it gained in 1991 with the collapse of the USSR. Putin said he was “deceived by the United States” in 2014 as well, when Washington asked him to “calm down” but, above all, to “contain” then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s response to anti-government protests. “(The USA) told me that (in return) they would contain the opposition. They told me: ‘Let’s allow the situation evolve toward a political agreement.’ And after Moscow fulfilled its part of the agreement, there was a coup; followed by attacks and bombings against the Russian majority population of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow could not stand by and watch.”

NATO expansion towards Eastern Europe

In parallel with the transformation of Ukraine, a former “brotherly republic” of Russia, into enemy territory controlled by nationalists, the North Atlantic Alliance has embarked on “five waves of expansion eastward,” despite verbal assurances given to Moscow at the end of the Cold War. “We were promised in very clear words: no NATO in the East. Then we were told that it wasn’t written on paper,” Putin said, claiming that in the past he had even questioned former President Bill Clinton about Moscow’s possible membership in the Atlantic alliance, but was “explicitly refused.” And at the 2008 Bucharest summit, NATO opened itself up to future membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

With the goodwill of the West, the conflict in Ukraine would end in a few weeks

To summarize: if the West stopped arming Kiev, the war would be over in a few weeks. “Only at this stage it will be possible to agree on the terms of the agreement,” the Russian president stressed, adding that Moscow “does not intend” to expand the conflict further into Poland and the former Soviet Baltic republics: “We will only do it in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. We have no interests in Poland, Latvia, or anywhere else. Why should we do it? We’re just not interested in that.”

Bilateral relations between Russia and the United States

Referring to bilateral relations between Russia and the United States, Putin said he has “good relations” with Donald Trump, as well as with one of the latter’s predecessors in the White House, George W. Bush, with whom Putin has been able to at least partially build “personal relations.” Asked about the possibility of “restoring relations between the two countries” if a new US administration comes to power after the November 2024 elections, Putin said: “It’s not about the leader or his personality, it’s about the mentality: if ‘(global) dominance’ remains the prevailing idea in American society, nothing will change.”

Washington must realize that the world is becoming multipolar

Internationally, Putin said the world is becoming “multipolar” and once again criticized the U.S. “ruling class” that doesn’t seem to realize that the world is changing fast. “Take the BRICS group of countries: in 1992, their contribution to world GDP was 6%, while that of the G7 countries was 47%. Today BRICS has overtaken the G7 with a 31.5% share compared to 30% in the G7,” Putin said, adding that the trend “has nothing to do” with what is happening in Ukraine. “This is the development of the global economy that cannot be stopped, like the sun rising every morning: we must adapt, while the USA reacts with force, sanctions, and bombings,” Putin said, emphasizing the importance in the broader international context of friendship with China. In Putin’s view, China’s economic development worries the United States more than Russia, which is not afraid of falling under “Chinese dominance.” “Beijing’s foreign policy is not aggressive,” the Russian leader emphasized.