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

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

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has labored for many years to win allies within the West, utilizing his spy businesses to intervene in elections and deploying diplomats to construct hyperlinks with Kremlin-friendly politicians.

On Thursday, the world witnessed a brand new, verbose chapter in these efforts: Mr. Putin’s two-hour interview, taped in a gilded corridor on the Kremlin, with one in all America’s most distinguished and most divisive conservative commentators.

Speaking to Tucker Carlson, the previous Fox News host, Mr. Putin known as on the United States to “make an settlement” to cede Ukrainian territory to Russia to be able to finish the battle. He sought to attraction on to American conservatives simply as Republican lawmakers are holding up help to Ukraine on Capitol Hill, echoing the speaking factors of politicians like former President Donald J. Trump who say that the United States has extra urgent priorities than a battle 1000’s of miles away.

“Don’t you’ve something higher to do?” Mr. Putin mentioned in response to Mr. Carlson’s query about the opportunity of American troopers preventing in Ukraine. “You have points on the border, points with migration, points with the nationwide debt. Wouldn’t it’s higher to barter with Russia?”

Much of the interview constituted a well-known Kremlin historical past lesson about Russia’s historic declare to Eastern European lands, starting within the ninth century, that Mr. Putin made little effort to distill for American ears. He opined on synthetic intelligence, Genghis Khan and the Roman Empire. He additionally laid out his well-worn and spurious justifications for invading Ukraine, asserting that Russia’s aim was to “cease this battle” that he claims the West is waging towards Russia.

But Mr. Putin was extra direct than ordinary about how he sees his Ukraine invasion ending: not with a navy victory, however by means of 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 battle as a result of “those that are in energy within the West have come to appreciate” that Russia is not going to be defeated on the battlefield.

“If so, if the belief has set in, they need to suppose what to do subsequent. We are prepared for this dialogue,” Mr. Putin mentioned.

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

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

The interview, carried out on Tuesday, was Mr. Putin’s first with a Western media outlet because the begin of his full-scale battle 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 shops take “an solely one-sided place” with regard to Russia.

Mr. Putin held out an olive department to the West, relatively than resort to among the fiery rhetoric he has employed earlier than home audiences. Afforded an opportunity by Mr. Carlson to develop on his efforts to painting Russia as a defender of “conventional values” towards what he typically depicts as a degenerate and declining West, the Russian president was uncharacteristically restrained. “Western society is extra pragmatic,” he mentioned. “Russian folks suppose extra concerning the everlasting, about ethical values.”

He added that “there’s nothing mistaken with” the Western path, noting that it had led to “good success in manufacturing, even in science.” It was an echo of Mr. Putin’s assertion during the last two years that his battle is just not with the West as an entire, however with a ruling elite in search of to protect its international hegemony.

The interview’s launch Thursday adopted days of breathless anticipation in Russia’s state-run information media, which documented Mr. Carlson’s each step in Moscow — right down to the double cheeseburgers he was mentioned to have ordered at a former McDonald’s. The hoopla laid naked the Kremlin’s continued aspiration to attraction to Western audiences, regardless of Mr. Putin’s on-and-off threats to make use of nuclear weapons and Russia’s arrest final 12 months of an American journalist, Evan Gershkovich.

Mr. Putin addressed each of these issues within the interview, apparently in search of to sign that Moscow and Washington can discover frequent floor. He informed Mr. Carlson that Russia had no real interest in attacking international locations on NATO’s japanese flank, opposite to the warnings of some Western officers.

“We have no real interest in Poland, Latvia or wherever else,” Mr. Putin mentioned. “It’s simply risk mongering.”

Mr. Carlson pressed Mr. Putin to launch Mr. Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent that Russia arrested final 12 months on espionage accusations that The Journal and the U.S. authorities vehemently deny. Mr. Putin mentioned “the dialogue continues” on his destiny, hinting that the Kremlin was holding out for a good supply from the United States to launch him as a part of a prisoner swap.

Taken collectively, Mr. Putin’s look underscored his tactical confidence as his adversaries face a weak second: Ukraine is struggling on the battlefield, additional navy help is stalled within the U.S. Congress and Kremlin-friendly politicians are ascendant on each side of the Atlantic. Chief amongst these politicians is Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner whom Mr. Carlson regularly praises however whom he didn’t ask about within the interview.

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

Mr. Putin’s present aim, Ms. Stanovaya mentioned, seems to be to safe a peace deal in Ukraine that may cement Russia’s management of the territory it has already captured and to put in a pleasant authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. But to attain it, Mr. Putin seems to consider that he wants the United States to place stress on Ukraine to carry negotiations on ending the battle, relatively than to proceed to withstand Russia’s invasion.

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

Indeed, Mr. Putin repeatedly predicted within the interview that the battle would finish by means of diplomacy, however that the United States first needed to cease sending navy help to Ukraine and to persuade Ukraine’s leaders to barter.

“You ought to inform the present Ukrainian management to cease and are available to a negotiating desk,” Mr. Putin mentioned. Minutes later, he added: “This limitless mobilization in Ukraine, the hysteria, the home issues — ultimately, it would lead to an settlement.”

But it was removed from clear whether or not the message would get by means of to American audiences. Instead, many viewers marveled on the size of Mr. Putin’s soliloquy on Russian historical past at the start of the interview — viewpoints already acquainted from years of the president’s speeches and writings. Mr. Putin expounded on matters just like the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the arrival of Christianity in Eastern Europe to attempt to justify his territorial claims in Ukraine.

“He didn’t say something new,” mentioned Nina L. Khrushcheva, a professor of worldwide affairs on the New School in New York and the great-granddaughter of the Soviet chief Nikita S. Khrushchev. Russians are used to his historical past classes, she went on, however American viewers “should be going nuts with all this historic verbosity.”

Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting.



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