Cape Town – Russian President Vladimir Putin has asserted that defeating Russia in Ukraine is “impossible by definition” and emphasised he does not aim to expand the war to neighbouring countries like Poland and Latvia.
Putin was speaking during an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“There has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat to Russia on the battlefield,” Putin said. “In my opinion, it is impossible by definition. It is never going to happen,” he said.
He repeated his claim that invading Ukraine was necessary to prevent it from joining Nato and threatening Russia.
Ep. 73 The Vladimir Putin Interview pic.twitter.com/67YuZRkfLL
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 8, 2024
In the lengthy two-hour interview where Putin extensively discussed the history of Eastern Europe and Russia, the Russian leader mentioned that his government is in contact with the United States.
He emphasised that achieving a peaceful resolution to the war would hinge on Washington ceasing the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
🚨BREAKING NEWS: Putin offers path to peace after talking with Tucker Carlson saying the war will be over “in weeks” if the US stops giving Ukraine weapons of war ⚠️
That is literally all it took. pic.twitter.com/DGrJuZS60T
— Matt Wallace (@MattWallace888) February 9, 2024
“I will tell you what we are saying on this matter and what we are conveying to the US leadership,” Putin said. “If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons. It will be over within a few weeks, that’s it, and then we can agree on some terms. Before you do that, stop.”
The Russian leader expressed a willingness to negotiate peace with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
He also said that it was “out of the question” for Russia to invade Poland or Latvia.
“We simply don’t have any interest” in expanding the war in Ukraine.
“Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland?” Carlson asked in the interview.
Tucker: “Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland?”
Putin: “Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. We have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? It is absolutely out of the question. It goes against common sense to… pic.twitter.com/qyudoybQrV
— Kees (@Kees71234) February 9, 2024
“Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia,” Putin responded, adding: “We have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest… It is absolutely out of the question.”
Putin also suggested the release of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich as a potential gesture of goodwill.
“There is no taboo to settle this issue. We are willing to solve it but there are certain terms being discussed via special services channels. I believe an agreement can be reached.”
Gershkovich was detained in March last year and accused of spying, a charge he and his employer have vehemently rejected.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu
Additional reporting from agencies