Putin declares Russia is open to negotiations

Vladimir Putin claims that Ukraine 'attacked Crimea bridge'

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In his annual Christmas Day address, the Russian President accused the West of halting negotiations and claimed that Russia was being torn apart by western allies of Ukraine. Putin’s comments come after the Ukrainian war was addressed by a number of public figures, including Pope Francis who expressed his desire to see an end to the “senseless” conflict.

According to the Russian leader, he is ready to talk with “everyone involved” but noted his belief that Russia’s actions are necessary to “protect our citizens”.

The President was interviewed on state television, which was aired on Christmas Day, in which he made these statements.

Putin said: “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 continued: “I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people.

“We have no other choice but to protect our citizens.”

He added: “Actually, the fundamental thing here is the policy of our geopolitical opponents which is aimed at pulling apart Russia, historical Russia.”

Ukraine fired back accusing Putin of being unrealistic about his beliefs surrounding the conflict and the actions of the West.

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens.”

Mykhailo Podolyak added in his tweet: “Russia doesn’t want negotiations but tries to avoid responsibility.”

On Christmas Eve, President Zelensky gave his nation a rallying address to mark the festive period during his country’s struggles.

Later that evening as Russian jets took off in Belarus the air raid sirens were sounded in Kyiv and a number of other Ukrainian areas, though officials said on Christmas morning that no new attacks had been reported.

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President Zelensky declared: “Tears will be replaced by joy, despair will be followed by hope, and death will be conquered by life.

“We will celebrate our holidays! As always. We will smile and be happy. As always.

“The difference is one: we will not wait for a miracle, because we create it ourselves.”

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