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'Ready to speak to Putin if he is looking for way to end the war': Joe Biden

Times Now logo Times Now 02-12-2022 Times Now Digital
'ready to speak to putin if he is looking for way to end the war': joe biden © Provided by Times Now 'ready to speak to putin if he is looking for way to end the war': joe biden

London: US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he was willing to speak to Vladimir Putin for the first time since the Ukraine invasion if the Russian leader truly wants to end the war.

"I'm prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he's looking for a way to end the war. He hasn't done that yet," Biden told a joint news conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who has maintained dialogue with Putin. The two men stressed they would continue to stand against Russia's war.

Macron also made it clear that they would never urge Ukraine to make a compromise it considered unacceptable.

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They were speaking as a senior Ukrainian official has said that between 10,000 and 13,000 of its soldiers had been killed since the start of Russia's invasion on 24 February. Though notably, neither Ukraine nor Russia tend to release figures for casualties, and the remarks by presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak have not been confirmed by the Ukrainian military.

Speaking to Ukrainian TV outlet Channel 24, Podolyak said Kyiv was "openly talking about the number of the killed". He added that the number of civilians killed could be "significant". He also suggested that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the invasion, as reported by BBC.

Following talks at the White House, the US and French presidents issued a joint statement pledging "continued support for Ukraine's defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity", stepping up delivery of air defense systems and plans for an international conference on Ukraine in Paris on 13 December.

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President Biden's suggestion that he was ready to talk to the Russian leader came with a heavy caveat and his French counterpart said "we will never urge the Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them."

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