The White House poured cold water Friday on President Joe Biden’s conditional offer to sit down with President Vladimir Putin, saying he has “no intentions” at present of holding a meeting.
“He’s got no intentions to talk to Mr Putin right now. And as he also said, Putin has shown absolutely no inclination to be interested in dialogue of any kind. In fact, quite the contrary,” White House National Security Advisor John Kirby told reporters.
Biden said Thursday during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron that he would be willing to talk with Putin about resolving Russia’s Ukraine invasion if the Kremlin leader “is looking for a way to end the war.”
It was the furthest Biden has gone in expressing openness to meeting Putin, who ordered his military to launch an invasion of neighboring, pro-Western Ukraine more than nine months ago, triggering worldwide diplomatic and economic shockwaves.
The Kremlin did not embrace Biden’s tentative offer, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Biden’s conditions amounted to “only after Putin leaves Ukraine.”
Kirby, meanwhile, said the West is not pushing Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to enter talks with Russia at a time when Ukrainian forces have had repeated successes against the invading military.
“The president wasn’t at all indicating that now is the time for talks. In fact, he has been consistent that only President Zelensky can determine if and when there’s going to be a negotiated settlement and what the circumstances around that settlement would look like,” Kirby said.
“The war could end today without talks if Putin did the right thing and just left Ukraine. His troops don’t belong there in the first place.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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