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Vladimir Putin says Russia ready to talk on Ukraine: ‘Won’t give up what’s ours’

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Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would be prepared to talk to Ukraine with the United States and Europe if they wanted to but would defend its national interests as well. The Russian leader has repeatedly said that he would be prepared to talk about peace.

Russia-Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with the top military brass in Moscow.(AP)
Russia-Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with the top military brass in Moscow.(AP)

“In Ukraine, those who are aggressive towards Russia, and in Europe and in the United States – do they want to negotiate? Let them. But we will do it based on our national interests,” Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the defence leadership in Moscow, adding, “We will not give up what is ours.”

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The Kremlin chief spoke at a meeting of the defence ministry which was attended by the military top brass. This included Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of general staff Valery Gerasimov as well as Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov.

Russian troops, Vladimir Putin assured, now had the initiative on the battlefield.

“We are not going to abandon the goals of the special military operation,” he said. Russia needed better military communication, reconnaissance, targeting and satellite capability, he noted but appreciated Russia’s defence industry saying that they responded faster than that of the West.

Russia will continue to upgrade its nuclear forces and keep its combat readiness at a high level, he said while defence minister Shoigu said that Russia’s production of tanks has increased since February 2022 by 5.6 times, unmanned aerial vehicles by 16.8 times and artillery shells by 17.5 times.

Russian forces have laid 7,000 km of minefields in Ukraine, he added.

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