Biden says ready to talk to Putin, but only if he wants to end the war
At a joint news conference with Macron, Biden said, "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."
US President Joe Biden said Thursday he is open to holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since the Ukraine invasion, but only if he wants to end the war. Biden was speaking during a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.
At a joint news conference, Biden said, "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."
"If that's the case, in consultation with my French and my NATO friends, I'll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind. He hasn't done that yet."
Both Biden and Macron also vowed support for Ukraine and pledged to hold Moscow accountable for war crimes.
"There's one way for this war to end, the rational way. Putin to pull out of Ukraine, number one. But it appears he's not. Bombing nurseries, hospitals, children's homes. It's sick what he's doing," he said.
"The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension," Biden said.
"He's miscalculated every single thing he initially calculated."
Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February earlier this year, Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, both warned it of consequences if it attacked.
Meanwhile, Macron told reporters that he planned to talk to Putin over the security of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine.
"I will continue to talk to President Putin," Macron said.
Macron also said that he would not push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into any peace plan that he does not accept.
"We will never urge the Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them," Macron said.
Talking about Zelensky, Macron said the Ukrainian president has shown a "real willingness" to pursue peace, adding, "Our job must be to work together with him."
Under Zelensky, Ukraine has staged a huge counter-attack on Russia and taken back several territories.
(With inputs from agencies)
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