Tucker Carlson Interview: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia has no interest in attacking countries such as Poland or Latvia, but will fight “to the end” for its interests, as he also accused the US and other Western nations of prolonging the Ukraine war that started in February 2022. In an interview to American journalist Tucker Carlson, Putin said peace talks with Ukraine were “almost finalised” during the April 2022 talks in Istanbul but Ukraine backed out after Russia withdrew its troops from near Kyiv, the capital city.
The over two-hour conversation with Carlson, the former Fox News host, was recorded on February 6 in the Russian capital of Moscow and aired on tuckercarlson.com Thursday. The video had Putin’s remarks dubbed into English as he originally spoke in Russian during the interview. He began with the long history of Russia, spending almost half an hour speaking about the country — from its 8th century rule to Lenin’s policies, explaining its relations with Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and other countries.
Asked to comment on the present situation eventually, Putin said the West had now realised that it was not possible to strategically defeat Russia.
Talking about detained US journalist Evan Gershkovich, the Russian leader said an agreement to free him was possible. Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal was detained nearly a year ago on charges of spying, and he is currently awaiting a trial.
The last time Putin gave a formal interview to any US media outlet was in October 2021 when he spoke to Hadley Gamble of CNBC.
The Carlson interview was aired on the day Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky replaced his army chief General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi with the ground forces commander, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, as reported by the media.
Russia Will Attack Poland ‘Only In One Case’
To Carlson’s question if there could be a scenario when Russian troops could be sent to Poland, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Putin said: “Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia.”
He added: “…we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest. It’s just threat mongering.”
Putin Says Ukraine War ‘Will Be Over Within A Few Weeks’ If…
When it comes to Ukraine, however, Putin said Russia “will fight for its interests to the end”, but it’s not against an “agreement” as he asked Washington to “negotiate” with Moscow.
“We’re not against it. It would be funny if it were not so sad… This endless mobilisation in Ukraine, the hysteria, the domestic problems, sooner or later it will result in an agreement.”
Putin said the US should better negotiate with Russia since it had its own domestic issues to worry about. “Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realising that Russia will fight for its interests to the end.”
Asked what would be Russia’s message to the US, Putin said: “If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons. It will be over within a few weeks.”
Since the Russian invasion, according to reports, the US has sent more than $110 billion in aid to Ukraine, and said it is not interested in Putin’s terms.
The Russian leader said Ukraine had almost agreed to a deal in April 2022, and that there were “agreements” on certain conditions to end the dispute according to which Russia pulled back troops from Kyiv, but after that the “Ukrainian negotiators immediately threw all our agreements reached in Istanbul into the bin and got prepared for a long standing armed confrontation with the help of US and its satellites in Europe.”
He also blamed former British prime minister Boris Johnson for dissuading Zelensky from signing the peace deal.
The Carlson interview comes at a time when US lawmakers are debating whether to provide more money to Ukraine, with $61 billion in new funds being considered. Several members of the House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans, have voted against any further aid to Ukraine.
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