Biden and Macron are to meet with the Russian leader to discuss an end to the Russo-Ukrainian war.
The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has claimed that President Vladimir Putin is open to talks on a possible settlement to the Ukrainian conflict and believes in a diplomatic solution. This came on Friday, December 2nd, after US President Joe Biden suggested he was willing to meet with Putin.
However, there are conditions attached to these peace talks. Speaking alongside his French counterpart, Manuel Macron, Biden stated that the only way to end the conflict in Ukraine was for Putin to withdraw his troops and that if Putin were interested in ending the conflict, Biden would be willing to meet with him.
When asked about Biden’s remarks, Peskov struck a dovish tone, saying that Putin remained open to negotiations but that Russia would not leave Ukraine. Leaving Ukraine will mean nothing short of defeat. For Putin and the rest of his cabinet, that is not an option they want to explore.
“The Russian Federation’s president has always been, is, and will continue to be open to negotiations to protect our interests,” Peskov told reporters.
The tough, no-nonsense Vladimir Putin has stated that he has no regrets about launching Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine. He described it as a watershed moment in which Russia finally stood up to arrogant Western hegemony after decades of humiliation in the years since the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991.
Ukraine and the Western world argue that Putin has no justification for what they perceive as an imperial-style occupation war. Ukraine, under Zelenskyy, has declared its determination to fight until the last Russian soldier leaves its territory.
Biden, throwing his weight behind the invasion, said that he and France’s President Macron would be working together to hold Putin accountable for what he called a “barbaric” war. He also reiterated that the idea of Putin ever defeating Ukraine was unthinkable.
Biden believes that the Russian leader, Putin was wrong in invading Ukraine. However, if Putin were willing to pull his soldiers out of Ukraine, Biden states he would be willing to sit down with Putin after consulting with other members of NATO. Biden predicted in March that Putin could not stay in power for long after the Ukraine invasion.
In the space of 8 months, Russia has claimed roughly one-fifth of Ukraine’s post-Soviet territory, annexations that both the West and Ukraine have abrogated.
Dmitry Peskov says the US refusal to recognize “the new territories” as Russian is impeding the search for a possible compromise.
“This complicates the search for common ground for discussions significantly,” Peskov said.
When asked if Biden’s Pull-Out Policy meant that negotiations were impossible from a Russian standpoint, Peskov said: “That is essentially what Biden said. Negotiations, he said, are only possible after Putin leaves Ukraine.”
The Kremlin, according to Peskov, would not accept that, and the Russian military operation in Ukraine would continue.
“But, at the same time – and this is critical – President Putin has been, is, and will continue to be open to contacts and negotiations. Of course, the best way to achieve our goals is through peaceful, diplomatic means.”
Tens of thousands of soldiers have died on both sides of the conflict, which has sparked the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Under the title “special military operation,” Russia marched into Ukraine’s territory on February 24th, 2022. Infantry division armored and air support, with several missile attacks across Eastern and Western Ukraine, all came together in a massive campaign against its former vassal. The first battle occurred near Milove village on the Russian border.
The sheer mass of firepower, a little bit too large for a “special military operation,” sent shivering signals to the rest of the world. Russia, the second most powerful army in the world, is against puny Ukraine. No matter how one saw it, Ukraine was doomed.
However, eight months later, with hundreds of missiles launched, tens of thousands of casualties, and several high-ranking officers killed or captured, the halo of invincibility around the Russian army has disappeared amidst unending ridicule. Ukraine had managed to defend its sovereignty, with president Volodymyr Zelenskyy elevated to the status of a global hero. Conversely, Russia has ended up with a face full of dirt, now a laughingstock in the global community.
The situation worsened when protests began with unabated fury in Russia. Russians were seen holding blank sheets in protest of the war. It did not seem right “to ship men abroad to kill people who have not done us any wrong.” That such demonstrations could arise in Russia, where freedom of speech is censored, shows how low Putin’s image had fallen in the people’s minds. After the Ukraine War ends, there may be one more battle for the Kremlin Chief to fight- the battle for the people’s hearts.