Russia's President Putin is confident of victory and ready to negotiate with regard to his invasion of Ukraine. In any case, he need not fear a condemnation of the war by China's head of state, Xi Jinping, since relations between the two countries are stable. Now he asks Xi for an interview.
According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to speak to China's head of state and party leader Xi Jinping by the turn of the year. "In fact, such a contact is being prepared," confirmed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax news agency. The 55-year-old did not want to reveal anything about the format of the talks - a telephone call or a personal meeting.
Relations between the two countries are considered good, despite the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. In contrast to the talks with Xi, the Kremlin says it is not seeking contact with the West. Peskov denied that a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron was planned in the next few days. There will also be no New Year's greetings to US President Joe Biden, Putin's spokesman assured.
Xi Jinping and Putin last met personally in September on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The Chinese head of state also received Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, in Beijing last week. China has officially spoken out in favor of a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine war, but has not condemned it and has not joined Western sanctions against Russia.
According to Putin, Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the Ukraine conflict. However, the political leadership in Kyiv and its Western supporters have refused talks, Putin claimed in an interview with the state TV channel Rossiya-1 on Sunday. "We are ready to negotiate acceptable solutions with all parties involved, but that's up to them - it's not us who are refusing to negotiate, it's them."
Putin was convinced of his course in Ukraine. "I believe that we are acting in the right direction. We are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no choice but to protect our citizens," said the Kremlin chief. In the interview, he repeated his accusations that the West wanted to destroy "historic Russia".
He has been trying to resolve the situation in Ukraine peacefully since 2014. "We have always tried to ensure that all disputes are resolved peacefully through negotiations," Putin said. "But unfortunately the other side felt differently." In fact, Russia started the war against Ukraine in 2014 with the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.