Putin Calls on U.S. to ‘Negotiate’ on Ukraine in Tucker Carlson Interview

President Vladimir V. Putin known as on the United States to “make an agreement” ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia in order to finish the warfare, talking for 2 hours with a former Fox News host in an interview broadcast Thursday that was the Kremlin’s most direct attraction to American audiences since his invasion started two years in the past.

“Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement,” Mr. Putin informed Tucker Carlson, the American conservative commentator, in the Russian chief’s first interview with an American outlet since 2021. “Start respecting our country and its interests and look for certain solutions.”

Much of the interview constituted a well-recognized Kremlin historical past lesson about Russia’s historic declare to Eastern European lands, starting in the ninth century, that Mr. Putin made little effort to distill for American ears. Mr. Putin additionally laid out his well-worn and spurious justifications for invading Ukraine, asserting that Russia’s objective was to “stop this war” that he claims the West is waging in opposition to Russia.

But Mr. Putin was extra direct than common about how he sees his Ukraine invasion ending: not with a army victory, however via an settlement with the West. At the interview’s finish, Mr. Putin informed Mr. Carlson that the time had come for talks about ending the warfare as a result of “those who are in power in the West have come to realize” that Russia won’t be defeated on the battlefield.

“If so, if the realization has set in, they have to think what to do next. We are ready for this dialogue,” Mr. Putin mentioned.

Responding to Mr. Carlson’s query about whether or not NATO might settle for Russian management over elements of Ukraine, Mr. Putin mentioned: “Let them think how to do it with dignity. There are options if there is a will.”

The authentic, Russian model of Mr. Putin’s feedback was not instantly launched, leaving viewers to rely on the dubbed translation in Mr. Carlson’s broadcast.

The interview, performed on Tuesday, was Mr. Putin’s first with a Western media outlet because the begin of the warfare in Ukraine and his first with an American one since 2021. While Mr. Putin commonly gave interviews to mainstream American media in his first twenty years in energy, his spokesman mentioned the Kremlin selected Mr. Carlson this time as a result of these conventional retailers take “an exclusively one-sided position” with regard to Russia.

Afforded an opportunity by Mr. Carlson to develop on his efforts to painting Russia as a defender of “traditional values” in opposition to what he often depicts as a degenerate and declining West, the Russian president was uncharacteristically restrained. “Western society is more pragmatic,” he mentioned. “Russian people think more about the eternal, about moral values.”

He added that “there’s nothing wrong with” the Western path, noting that it had led to “good success in production, even in science.” It was an echo of Mr. Putin’s frequent assertion over the past two years that his battle shouldn’t be with the West as a complete, however with a hegemonic ruling elite.

Mr. Putin’s look underscored his tactical confidence as his adversaries face a susceptible second: Ukraine is struggling on the battlefield, additional army support is stalled in the U.S. Congress and Kremlin-friendly politicians are ascendant on each side of the Atlantic. Chief amongst these politicians is former President Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner whom Mr. Carlson often praises.

That confluence of circumstances implies that the interview with Mr. Carlson comes as Mr. Putin senses his “finest hour,” mentioned Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow on the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.

Mr. Putin’s finish objective, she mentioned, is to safe a peace deal in Ukraine that may cement Russia’s management of the territory it has already captured and to set up a pleasant authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. But to obtain it, Mr. Putin seems to consider that he wants the United States to put stress on Ukraine to maintain negotiations on ending the warfare, fairly than to proceed to resist Russia’s invasion.

“He believes that he now has a window of opportunity,” she mentioned.

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