Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is ready to negotiate with Ukraine to end the war, but claims Kyiv has refused to enter talks.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television.
Putin has said that his goal in the war in Ukraine is to “unite the Russian people”.
He accused Ukraine and the West of trying to pull “historical Russia” apart, signalling he still wants control of Russian-speaking territories invaded by his forces – a non-starter for any serious peace negotiations.
Putin said his government was acting “in the right direction … protecting our national interests, the interests of our citizens, of our people”.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most deadly conflict in Europe since the Second World War and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.