Putin Expresses Russia’s Willingness for Peace Talks with Ukraine

Wed Nov 22 2023
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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the Group of 20 (G20) leaders on Wednesday, emphasizing the need to consider how to halt the “tragedy” of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Putin, speaking at the virtual G20 meeting convened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressed that military actions are always a tragedy and expressed Russia’s willingness for peace talks with Ukraine.

Since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, the conflict has become Europe’s deadliest, triggering a significant confrontation between Russia and the West. Putin acknowledged that some G20 leaders expressed shock over what they described as Russia’s ongoing “aggression” in Ukraine.

“Yes, of course, military actions are always a tragedy,” Putin stated during the virtual meeting. “And of course, we should think about how to stop this tragedy. By the way, Russia has never refused peace talks with Ukraine.”

Russia to Continue Military Operation in Ukraine

A senior Russian official had stated on Tuesday that Moscow cannot coexist with the current government in Kyiv and would continue its special military operation to “demilitarize” Ukraine. In response, Ukraine has vowed to resist until the last Russian soldier leaves its territory, receiving ongoing support from Western allies.

With control over nearly a fifth of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory, including Crimea annexed in 2014, Putin considers this territory as part of Russia. Despite Ukraine’s counter-offensive facing challenges against well-entrenched Russian forces, the situation remains a critical focus on the international stage.

Putin’s virtual address to the G20 marked the first time he spoke to the leaders of the world’s major economies since the beginning of the conflict. The Russian leader affirmed Moscow’s openness to peace talks while acknowledging the gravity of the situation and the collective responsibility to address the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine.

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