ISW: Putin’s statement of readiness for negotiations with Ukraine is bluff for West

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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin didn’t offer direct negotiations with Ukraine in his TV interview on Dec. 25 but rather aimed to mislead the West “to push Ukraine into making preliminary concessions,” the Institute for the Study of War reported in its latest assessment.

Putin’s statement was part of “a deliberate information campaign,” spreading the false narratives that Ukraine, which Putin called the “other side,” had disrupted Russia’s diplomatic efforts prior to the full-scale invasion, according to the D.C.-based think tank.

“Putin’s discussions of negotiations have focused on putative discussions with the West rather than with Ukraine, and reflect his continual accusations that Ukraine is merely a Western pawn with no real agency,” the ISW wrote, adding that Putin’s claims in Sunday’s interview continued this rhetorical line.

Putin’s words that Russia is “operating in a correct direction” demonstrated that “he has not set serious conditions for negotiations and still wishes to pursue his maximalist goals,” reads the report.

The analysts added that the Kremlin did not publish the full transcript of Putin’s interview on its official website, as it had previously done, possibly to ease the misinterpretation of Putin’s statement about the peace talks.

Putin claimed on Dec. 25 that Moscow was “ready to negotiate with everyone involved” to reach what it views as “acceptable solutions” for its full-scale war against Ukraine.

In an interview with Kremlin-controlled Rossiya 1 television, the Russian dictator again accused Kyiv and its Western allies of blocking the negotiation process. Meanwhile, Putin said that Russia would continue waging war until its objectives were achieved.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that Ukraine would fight until a complete Russian withdrawal from its territory, including the Donbas region in the country’s east and the Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine-Russia negotiations at the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion ended without a breakthrough. Since April, there have been no direct talks between the two countries.