UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – The American president had indicated Thursday that he was ready to discuss with Vladimir Putin on the condition that he seek “a way to end the war”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounces the “destructive lineof the West on Ukraine and rejects US President Joe Biden’s conditions for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin says Europe is “notnot strong enough»… Le Figaro provides an update on the Russian offensive in Ukraine this Friday, December 2.
Biden has ‘no intention’ of talking to Putin at this time
The White House on Friday clarified Joe Biden’s remarks the day before, insisting that the American president did not plan to discuss the Ukrainian file for the moment with Vladimir Putin. “He has no intention of exchanging with Vladimir Putin for the moment”said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, which reports to the White House, on Friday. “And as he also stated, Putin showed absolutely no interest in any dialogue whatsoever – it’s actually quite the opposite”, he told the press. Joe Biden had declared Thursday to be ‘ready to talk to Putin if he seeks a way to end the war’while noting that the Russian president had not “not done yet”.
“If that were the case, then in consultation with my French and NATO friends, I would be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind. He hasn’t done it yet.”, he said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. The remarks come closest to signaling Washington’s openness to a dialogue with the Kremlin over the war in Ukraine, but Moscow “obviously” rejected the proposal on Friday, understanding that it implied a departure of Russian troops from Ukraine, an option that Russia does not consider.
» SEE ALSO – Joe Biden ‘ready to talk’ with Vladimir Putin if he ‘looks for a way to end the war’
Putin says bombing Ukrainian infrastructure ‘inevitable’
“Necessary and inevitable”: this is how Vladimir Putin justified Friday the bombardments which ravaged, just at the arrival of winter, the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, leaving millions of civilians in the dark and the cold. During their first telephone conversation since mid-September and despite a series of scathing military setbacks, the Russian president meant to stay straight in his boots to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “It has been pointed out that the Russian armed forces have long avoided high-precision missile strikes on certain targets in Ukraine, but such measures have become necessary and inevitable in the face of provocative attacks from kyiv”the Kremlin said in a statement, summarizing Vladimir Putin’s remarks.
According to the Russian president, kyiv is responsible for the explosions which partially destroyed the Crimean bridge and other Russian installations, and therefore Moscow is within its rights by bombing Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, even if it means leaving it in the cold and black the civilian population. On the merits, Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin could therefore only note their disagreement. During a one-hour telephone interview, the German leader notably “insisted with the Russian President that a diplomatic solution be found as soon as possible, which implies the withdrawal of Russian troops”, said the German Chancellery. According to the Kremlin press release, Vladimir Putin, on the contrary, pointed out the position “destructive” of the West, whose Western political, financial and military support in his view encourages kyiv to reject “the idea of any negotiation”. Putin called Scholz “to review its approach”.
SEE ALSO – War in Ukraine: “More than 6 million homes” affected by power cuts, says Zelensky
EU deal on Russian oil price cap after Warsaw endorsement
The 27 countries of the European Union have reached an agreement on a cap of 60 dollars per barrel of Russian oil prices after the green light given by Warsaw, the representative of Poland announced on Friday in Brussels. Poland, which was demanding a lower price, withdrew its objections and the measure will be formalized this weekend, Andrzej Sados, Poland’s permanent representative to the European Union, told reporters.
The White House ruled on Friday “welcome” the news of this agreement. “We continue to believe that a price cap will help limit Vladimir Putin’s ability to take advantage of the oil market to continue funding a war apparatus that continues to kill innocent Ukrainians”National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
Ukraine says it received packages containing ‘animal eyes’ at its embassies
“Bloody packages arrived at embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Austria, the consulates general in Naples and Krakow, and the consulate in Brno”said in a statement on Facebook the spokesman for Ukrainian diplomacy, Oleg Nikolenko. “The packages contained animal eyes”, he detailed. Before adding, without giving more details: “The wrappers themselves were soaked in a specific color liquid and smelled similar.”
“We have reason to believe that a well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation of Ukrainian embassies and consulates is underway”castigated the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba, quoted in the press release on Friday. “These attempts (of intimidation) are useless”, he pointed out, targeting Russia, which has suffered several humiliating defeats on the military ground in recent weeks in Ukraine. Two days earlier, a letter bomb injured an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid.
Europe is ‘not strong enough’, says Finnish Prime Minister
Visiting Australia, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stressed that Russia’s invasion and occupation of neighboring Ukraine has exposed Europe’s weaknesses and strategic errors against Moscow. “I have to be very honest (….) with you, Europe is not strong enough at the moment, we would be in trouble without the United States“, she pointed out the leader of the country applying for NATO membership to the Lowy Institute, a think tank based in Sydney.
SEE ALSO – Putin wants to use winter as “a weapon of war”, says Stoltenberg
Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since Russian invasion
A maximum of 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded their country in February, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday. “We have official estimates from the general staff (…) They range from 10,000 (…) to 13,000 dead”said Mykhailo Podolyak, one of Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisers, on the Ukrainian channel Channel 24. According to him, the head of state will make public the official data “when the time is right”.
When Russian forces battled in June to completely take over the Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said his country was losing. “60 to 100 soldiers per day, killed in action, and around 500 people injured in action”. On the opposing side, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in September that 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the conflict on February 24. The two adversaries are suspected of minimizing the scale of their human losses to avoid weighing on the morale of their troops.
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