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RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has used an interview with former Fox News television presenter Tucker Carlson to urge Washington to persuade Ukraine to enter peace talks.
The two-hour interview was released on Thursday as the war in Ukraine nears the two-year mark.
Mr Putin repeated his claim that “the special military operation” was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.
Mr Putin said his government had “never refused negotiations” and it was Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky who had rejected talks with the Kremlin.
He argued that it was up to Washington to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and convince Kiev, which he called a US “satellite,” to sit down for negotiations.
Mr Putin warned that the West would never succeed in inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Russia in Ukraine and rejected allegations that his government was planning to attack Poland or other Nato countries.
During the interview, the Russian president accused the US of being responsible for blowing up three of the four strands of the Nord Stream pipeline on September 26 2022.
The pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea, was the main energy link between Russia and the West.
When asked by Mr Carlson whether he had any evidence of US responsibility for the attack, Mr Putin said: “People always say in such cases, look for someone who is interested.
“But in this case, we should not only look for someone who is interested but also for someone who has capabilities, because there may be many people interested but not all of them are capable of sinking to the bottom of the Baltic Sea and carrying out this explosion.
“These two components should be connected — who is interested and who is capable of doing it.”
The White House has always denied any US involvement in the attack.
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