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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Russia will win – Putin

The Ukraine conflict will end on Moscow’s terms, the president has said

Peace talks are based on either victory or defeat, and Russia intends to win, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, when asked about the Ukraine conflict.

Putin’s comments came during a question-and-answer panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Stating that the leadership in Kiev is illegitimate and that the West cannot be trusted, the Russian leader said this will not get in Moscow’s way.

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“All negotiations are based on either military defeat, or military victory. Of course, we will win,” Putin said.

Moscow is open to negotiations, Putin repeated, but it needs to be able to trust the people on the other side and be offered conditions that are in its interest. Peace talks can’t be based on “fantasies,” he added.

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Putin was referring to the admissions by former leaders of Germany and France about the Minsk peace process, which ostensibly sought to resolve the dispute in Donbass which began in 2014. The West was merely stalling for time, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande said in December 2022.

Putin also reminded the SPIEF audience that Vladimir Zelensky can’t be considered the president of Ukraine, as his term legally expired last month. The Ukrainian constitution is clear on extending the parliament’s mandate in case of emergencies, but says nothing about presidential terms. Zelensky’s claim to power is therefore illegitimate, Putin concluded, implying that Russia will have to find someone else to deal with.