Russian officials are willing to talk with all parties involved in the Ukrainian conflict, but Kyiv and the Western backers of the Ukrainian government have resisted such discussions, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Sunday. A major confrontation between Moscow and the West has erupted since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, triggering one of the deadliest conflicts in Europe since World War II. So far, there appears to be little hope for an end to the war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in an interview with Newsweek that Moscow is ready for negotiations to end the 10-month war in Ukraine, asserting that Western countries are seeking to “dismember historical Russia.”#VladimirPutin #Putin #Russia #Ukraine #negotiations pic.twitter.com/3ggPe3QJEU
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) December 26, 2022
The Kremlin declared it would continue fighting until it had achieved all its objectives, while Kyiv has promised not to rest until every Russian soldier has been ejected from all its territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. However, Putin continued, “We are willing to talk with everybody involved about adequate solutions, but that is up to them.” It is much different from what he said to state television Rossiya 1.
In an interview published earlier this month, CIA Director William Burns stated that, although most conflicts end in negotiations, the Central Intelligence Agency believes Russian officials still need to commit to negotiating a peaceful settlement. The adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has indicated that Putin needs to face reality and acknowledge that Russians do not wish to enter negotiations. Mykhailo Podolyak stated on Twitter that Russia’s single-handed attack on Ukraine is killing its citizens.
Putin needs to come back to reality.
1. Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens. There are no other “countries, motives, geopolitics”
2. Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility. This is obvious, so we are moving to the Tribunal.
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) December 25, 2022
No Choice but to Protect Russian Citizens
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was acting in the “right direction” in Ukraine due to efforts made by the West, led by the United States, to sever Russia from the rest of the world. The United States denies that it is planning the collapse of Russia. Defending the national interests of our citizens, our people, is the right thing to do, and we cannot fail to protect them,” Putin said. In response to a question regarding the possible danger of the geopolitical conflict with the West, the Russian president stated: “I do not believe it is as bad.”
By overthrowing a pro-Russian president during the Maidan Revolution protests in 2014, the West began the conflict in Ukraine. In the days following that revolution, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and separatist forces backed by Russia started to fight the Ukrainian military in the east of the country. “Our geopolitical opponents are attempting to tear apart Russia, historical Russia, and that is the fundamental issue here,” Putin expressed. “Putin portrays special military operations” in Ukraine as a stage in the political evolution of Russia as a whole. He claims the West has been trying to destroy it since the Soviet Union fell in 1991.
The Ukrainian government and the West claim that the Russian leader has no reason for what they describe as an imperial-style war of occupation that has caused suffering and death throughout the country. However, Russian President Putin described the country as being “unique” and said its vast majority of citizens were united in wanting to defend it. “My experience here has been nothing unusual in terms of the majority of our citizens, our 99.9% of citizens who are willing to sacrifice everything for the Motherland,” Putin told reporters.
Moscow Ready to Restart Gas Supplies to European Countries
TASS reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told the news agency that Moscow is ready to restart gas supplies to Europe via the Yamal-Europe Pipeline. Moreover, TASS quoted Novak in Sunday’s notice: “The European market remains relevant since gas shortages persist, and supplies can be resumed at any time.” A political decision caused the Yamal-Europe Pipeline to be stopped, but the project remains unfinished.
Since December 2021, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline has been primarily flowing eastward as Poland has gone back to drawing gas stored in Germany instead of purchasing it from Russia. However, following Warsaw’s rejection of Moscow’s demand for payment in rubles, the agreement with Russia was terminated in May. In addition, Gazprom (GAZP.MM) shut off supplies and threatened to stop exporting gas through Poland after Moscow sanctioned the company that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline.
Additionally, Novak told Reuters that Moscow is examining the possibility of supplying additional gas through Turkey once a hub is established. He noted that Moscow anticipates shipping 21 billion cubic meters of LNG to the European Union by 2022. “During this year, we have been able to increase LNG supplies to Europe significantly,” Novak commented. In the initial eleven months of 2022, we were able to increase them to 19.4 BCM, and by the year’s end, we expect 21 BCM.
Russia is Considering Supplying Gas to Other Countries
Azerbaijan has agreed to increase gas supplies to Russia for its domestic consumption, Novak said in an extensive interview with the TASS agency. Parts of the interview were published over the weekend. “We will be able to discuss swaps with them when they increase their gas production,” he stated. He said that the Russian government is also considering supplying Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with more of its natural gas. Additionally, Novak noted that Russia could supply natural gas to the markets of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the long term, either using Central Asian infrastructure or via a swap with Iran.
Drone Attack on Russian Air Base
The Russian defense ministry has reported that three Russian service members were killed by debris from a Ukrainian drone that was hit down and dropped onto a Russian military base deep inside the country. On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a Ukrainian crewless aerial vehicle was shot down in the Saratov region at approximately 01:35 Moscow on December 26 while approaching the Engels military airfield. Three Russian servicemen of the technical staff on the airfield were fatally injured by debris that fell from the drone.
In addition, the ministry stated that no damage was caused to aviation equipment. The governor of the Saratov region, Roman Busargin, said earlier on Monday that neither civil infrastructure nor water supply facilities was damaged. Located about 730 kilometers southeast of Moscow near Saratov, the airbase is far from the front lines of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. On December 5, however, it was also struck by what Moscow claimed were Ukrainian drones attacking two Russian air bases.