Putin justifies himself: “Such measures have become necessary and inevitable in the face of provocative attacks from Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday that Russia’s massive strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure were “necessary and unavoidable” and further condemned the West’s “destructive” stance in supporting Kyiv.

“It was pointed out that the Russian Armed Forces have long avoided high-precision missile strikes against certain targets in Ukraine, but such actions have become necessary and unavoidable in the face of provocative attacks from Kyiv,” the Kremlin said in a statement. , summarizes Vladimir Putin’s comments to Olaf Scholz during their first interview since mid-September.

Mr. According to Putin, kyiv was responsible for the explosions that partially destroyed the Russian Crimean bridge and Russian energy installations, so Moscow is within its rights to bomb Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions of civilians in the cold and dark.

“In Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is now facing a situation he has never experienced before”

Mr Putin, who launched his offensive on February 24, again complained that Western financial and military support for Ukraine had enabled Kyiv to inflict humiliating defeats on Russia.

So for the Russian president, the position of the West is “catastrophic”, because the West is strong in political, financial and military support, “Kyiv rejects the idea of ​​any negotiations” and “incites Ukrainian radical nationalists to commit crimes. Bloody”. Vladimir Putin thus Mr. He called on Scholes to “reconsider his approach in the context of Ukrainian events”.

For his part, Olaf Scholz asked Vladimir Putin to withdraw his forces from Ukraine to reach a “diplomatic solution”. During an hour-long telephone conversation between the two leaders, Mr. Scholz urged the Russian president to find a diplomatic solution that would mean the withdrawal of Russian troops as soon as possible, government spokesman Steffen Hepstreit said in a statement. .

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President Mr. Putin condemned “Russian airstrikes against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and underscored Germany’s determination to help Ukraine strengthen its defense capabilities against Russian aggression.” The two leaders, who agreed to “keep in touch”, also “discussed the world food situation, which is particularly tense due to the Russian war of aggression”. They “underscored the important role of the recently extended Grains Agreement under the United Nations,” the statement concluded.

An agreement to allow Ukrainian grain exports from Ukrainian ports was renewed on November 17 for four winter months, allaying concerns about a potential global food crisis.

The Russian president decreed the annexation in late September, although he does not control four regions of Ukraine, except Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. Kyiv for its part rejects any talks with Putin, not respecting its territorial integrity. , Crimea is included.

Militarily, the Russian army suffered several defeats, being forced to withdraw from the north of the country in April, then from part of the northeast in September, and finally from part of the south in November. Since October, Russian forces have adopted a tactic of bombing installations that provide the country with electricity and heat, even as winter settles into Ukraine.

Finally, just before Friday, The Kremlin rejected US President Joe Biden’s specific conditions earlier in the day He said he was “ready” to discuss with Vladimir Putin if he “finds a way to end the war” in Ukraine, with the withdrawal of Russian troops as the first condition.

The US president had said talks would only be possible after Putin leaves Ukraine, which Moscow “flatly rejects”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “Military action continues,” he insisted.

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