In an ultra-hawkish speech to parliamentary leaders more than four months into the war, Putin said that any chances for negotiation will diminish the longer the conflict continues.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia had barely gotten started in Ukraine and dared the West to try to defeat it on the battlefield.
In a speech to parliamentary leaders more than four months into the war, Putin said that the prospects for any negotiation would grow dimmer the longer the conflict dragged on. “Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can you say, let them try,” he said.
It seems that everything is heading towards the West wanting to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it is something that we have heard many times before.
Russia has accused the West of engaging in a proxy war against it by implementing economic sanctions and supplying advanced weapons to Ukraine.
But while boasting that Russia was just getting into its stride, Putin also referred to the possibility of negotiations.
“Everyone should know that, by and large, we haven’t started anything yet in earnest,” he added. “At the same time, we don’t reject peace talks. But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”
It was the first reference to diplomacy in many weeks after repeated statements from Moscow that negotiations with Kyiv had totally broken down.