Tucker Carlson interviews Putin…


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President Vladimir Putin said Russia hasn’t achieved its objectives in Ukraine yet, adding in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he would consider negotiations if the US stops supplying weapons to Kyiv.

“We haven’t yet achieved our goals,” Putin said in the interview in Moscow, which Carlson posted on his website Thursday. It’s the first time the Russian leader has given an interview to a western media figure since he ordered the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
“We’re conveying to the US leadership that if you really want to stop military action, then you need to stop supplying weapons, then it will all be over in a few weeks and we’ll be able to discuss some terms,” Putin said in the interview, which was recorded Feb. 6.
The US and its allies have rejected Russia’s demands for such capitulation, however, and there’s no sign that either side is ready for serious talks as the war nears the two-year mark.
Putin also suggested a deal can be reached to free jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich, hinting that the Wall Street Journal reporter could be returned in a prisoner swap.
“We have certain conditions that are being discussed through channels between special services,” Putin said. “I believe an agreement can be reached.”
He alluded to the case of a man he called a “patriot” who was jailed for murder in a European country, an apparent reference to Vadim Krasikov, who is serving a life sentence in Germany for the 2019 killing of a former Chechen rebel in Berlin. Russia has previously suggested it’s seeking Krasikov’s return in prisoner-swap talks.
In the interview, Putin also reiterated charges against Gershkovich that have been roundly rejected by the Wall Street Journal and the US government, which says the reporter was “wrongfully detained” by Moscow.
Most of the two-hour conversation was devoted to repetitions of Putin’s long-standing criticisms of the US and its allies, and his controversial views on the history of Ukraine-Russia relations.
With the 2024 US presidential election looming, Putin dismissed Carlson’s suggestion that a change in administration in the US could lead to a different approach to the war. “It’s not a matter of the leader,” he said. “It’s the mindset of the elite.”
Putin added that he had “a good personal relationship” with President George W. Bush and a similar one with Donald Trump when he was in the White House. He said he hadn’t spoken to President Joe Biden since before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Carlson, a conservative firebrand and Trump supporter, has used his media platform to question US support for Ukraine and defend the Kremlin. Russian state television regularly airs clips from his posts.
Trump, who appears likely to clinch the Republican nomination as he seeks to return to the White House, has said he would consider Carlson as a potential running mate against Biden in November.
Ahead of the interview, Carlson said in a video post that “most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine, or what his goals are now.”
Over more than two hours, Carlson did little to challenge Putin as laid out his claims for why the US and its allies are to blame for the war in Ukraine.
Though Carlson said ahead of the Moscow meeting that “not a single western journalist has bothered to interview” Putin, the Kremlin said it has turned down numerous requests from other media, preferring Carlson’s less-confrontational approach.
The former Fox News personality was welcomed to Moscow even as the Kremlin has imposed the most stringent crackdown in decades to crush domestic criticism of the war. Opponents of the invasion have been jailed or fled into exile, while lawmakers last month unanimously passed a new law allowing the state to confiscate the property of anyone convicted of “discrediting” the Russian military’s actions in Ukraine.
The interview took place as more than $60 billion of US military aid to Ukraine is mired in partisan bickering, with Biden blaming Trump for sinking the most recent attempt in Congress to reach a deal. Ukraine has warned it’s running low on ammunition to defend itself against Russian forces occupying parts of the country’s east and south.

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