Putin Says the Sooner Conflict in Ukraine Ends, the Better

The Russian leader says the US is trying to prolong the war by sending Patriot missiles to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that Russia’s goal was to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible and that the fighting would inevitably end through a diplomatic solution.

“So we will seek to make sure that it all ends, and the sooner, the better, of course,” Putin told reporters, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

Putin’s comments came the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington and said he wouldn’t “compromise” to reach peace in Ukraine. Zelensky’s demands for talks are the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from territory Russia has captured since February 24.

Zelensky’s demands are a non-starter for Moscow as Russian officials insist they are not leaving the territory Putin has annexed. With the positions so far apart, it’s unlikely any sort of peace talks will happen in the near future unless the US decides to press Ukraine to seek a negotiated solution, which at this point is also unlikely.

As the war drags on, Ukrainian civilians are in a dire situation as Russian missile strikes have pounded energy infrastructure, and millions are without power and heat.

Much earlier in the war, Russia and Ukraine seemed close to reaching a deal after holding in-person peace talks in Istanbul in March, but it was discouraged by the West. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kyiv in April and urged Zelensky not to negotiate with Moscow, and according to Ukrainian media, his visit was a major factor in the scuttling of negotiations.

Turkey, the host of the Russian-Ukrainian peace talks, said later in April that some NATO members wanted the war in Ukraine to Continue to make Russia “weaker.” A few days later, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin admitted that a US goal in Ukraine was to “weaken” Russia.

Putin on Thursday also discussed the Patriot air defense missile system that the US announced it will provide Kyiv. He said Moscow would be able to “crack” the system and that the aid was just another attempt by the US to prolong the war. “It is nothing but an attempt to prolong the conflict, that’s all,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.