Here are the key points from a news conference by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on Friday where he discussed the state of the war in Ukraine:
On Ukraine war
“Of course, partners are concerned about future developments in Russian-Ukrainian relations. It is true that there is nothing unexpected here. I keep our partners informed, tell them our point of view. But this does not affect the character, the quality, or the depth of Russia’s relations with these countries”.
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“India and China always talk about the need to establish dialogue and resolve everything peacefully, we know their position. These are our close allies, partners, and we respect their position. But we also know the position of Kyiv – they keep saying that they want negotiations and it seems like they asked for it, and now they have made an official decision that prohibits negotiations.”
Will large-scale attacks continue?
“Right now, there is no need for massive strikes [on Ukraine]. For now, there are other tasks, because, I believe, out of 29 targets, [only] seven were not hit as the Ministry of Defence planned, but they are getting to them gradually. There is no need for massive strikes, in any case, not for now. In future, we’ll see. We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine. No, of course not.”
Potential clashes with NATO
“The introduction of troops into a direct confrontation with the Russian army is a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe. I hope that those who speak of this have enough sense not to take such steps.”
“No. I want to make it clear: what is happening today is unpleasant, to put it mildly, but we would have got the same thing a little later, only in worse conditions for us, that’s that. So, we are acting correctly and in a timely manner.”
“The Ministry of Defence initially assumed a smaller figure, not 300,000. Nothing extra is planned. No proposals have been received from the ministry of defence in this regard. And in the foreseeable future, this is not necessary.”
“[Germany] must decide what is more important for them: the fulfilment of alliance obligations, as they see it, or their national interests. In this case, it seems that Germany placed its obligations to the [NATO] alliance above all. I believe that this is a mistake.”
“German citizens, businesses, and its economy are paying for this mistake, because it has negative economic consequences for the eurozone as a whole, and in Germany. But very few people take into account its interests, otherwise, Nord Stream 1 and 2 would not have been undermined. But although one branch remains, as I said, in working order, a decision has not been made and is unlikely to be made. But this is no longer our business, this is the business of our partners.”
“[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan played a significant role in resolving a number of issues. This is due to the prisoner exchanges, he was personally involved in this work. And, as we see, there have been results. So, we are also grateful to him for this, because we got our military personnel and officers back.”
Talks with the US
“We should ask him if he’s ready to hold such talks with me or not. I don’t see the need for a platform for negotiations [with President Joe Biden]. The question of my trip [to the G20 summit in Indonesia] has not yet been finally resolved. Russia will certainly take part in this work, in what format, we will think about that.”