In his annual Christmas Day address, the Russian President accused the West of halting negotiations and claimed that Russia was being torn apart by western allies of Ukraine. Putin’s comments come after the Ukrainian war was addressed by a number of public figures, including Pope Francis who expressed his desire to see an end to the “senseless” conflict.
According to the Russian leader, he is ready to talk with “everyone involved” but noted his belief that Russia’s actions are necessary to “protect our citizens”.
The President was interviewed on state television, which was aired on Christmas Day, in which he made these statements.
Putin said: “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.”
Putin continued: “I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people.
“We have no other choice but to protect our citizens.”
He added: “Actually, the fundamental thing here is the policy of our geopolitical opponents which is aimed at pulling apart Russia, historical Russia.”
Ukraine fired back accusing Putin of being unrealistic about his beliefs surrounding the conflict and the actions of the West.
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President Zelensky declared: “Tears will be replaced by joy, despair will be followed by hope, and death will be conquered by life.
“We will celebrate our holidays! As always. We will smile and be happy. As always.
“The difference is one: we will not wait for a miracle, because we create it ourselves.”