Putin’s Christmas message: “We are ready to negotiate”
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin has made a Christmas Day appearance on Russia-1 television, declaring he’s ready to negotiate to end the conflict in Ukraine.
“We are ready to negotiate with all the participants in this process about acceptable solutions (to end the war),” said Putin in the one-on-one interview.
But he went on to claim Ukraine and its allies are refusing to enter into peace talks, saying “it’s not us who refuse to negotiate but they.”
Putin’s Christmas Day interview on Russia-1 comes amid intensifying Russian airstrikes on Ukraine. On Christmas Eve, 10 people were killed and up to 70 injured during strikes on Kherson in Ukraine’s South.
However, when asked, Putin denied any increased threat to Russia’s security.
“I don’t think it’s that dangerous. I believe that we are moving in the right direction, we are protecting our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people, and we simply have to choice but to protect our citizens.”
Zelensky: “Freedom comes at a high price”
On the other side of the conflict, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, delivered a Christmas address on Saturday.
“We can feel the traditional Spirit of Christmas differently. Dinner at the family table cannot be so tasty and warm,” he said.
“There may be empty chairs around it. And our houses and streets can’t be so bright. And Christmas bells can ring not so loudly and inspiringly. Through air raid sirens, or even worse, gunshots and explosions.
“Freedom comes at a high price, but slavery has an even high price.”
Zelensky has previously warned he will not negotiate with Russia while Putin is in power.