The President of Russia Vladimir Putin had an interview with the American Tucker Carlson that was published on his YouTube channel Tucker Carlson on February 9, 2024 which is the first interview with a Western anchor since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
President Putin started to speak about the history of Russia from the 8th century to the 20th century and how Ukraine is an artificial state that was formed by territory from different nations such as Russia, Hungary, and Romania.
President Putin even gave a personal story when he, in the early 80s went on a road trip in a car from what was then Leningrad across The Soviet Union (USSR) through Kyiv and then went to western Ukraine.
he said, “I went to villages and everything was written in Russian and a language, he did not understand, it was Hungarian, and saw people wearing hats he found strange later I found they were Hungarian.”
President Putin talked about how Russia in 1991 was promised NATO would not expand an inch to the east, but because it was not enshrined in paper and NATO did not keep its promise and expanded.
President Putin talked about the hostility and large-scale military operation against the Russian-speaking population in the eastern region of Ukraine Donbas after “the 2014 coup” and why Russia intervened to protect them.
Tucker Carlson asked President Putin why he did not annex Ukraine when he became President in 2000’s. President Putin explained he did not find a reason due to the strong relationship between Ukraine and Russia.
Tucker Carlson asked President Putin about the desire for expansion to include Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe to which President Putin denied any intention or desire to expand by saying “Only in one case if Poland attacks Russia”
President Putin spoke about negotiations in Istanbul where there was agreement during the negotiations in writing that Neo-Nazism would not be cultivated in Ukraine and it would be prohibited at the legislative level.
President Putin talked about an agreement that was going to be reached to end the war but former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson dissuaded Ukraine from having a deal and continuing the war with the help of the West to get back lost territories.
President Putin said that Arakhamia member of the Ukrainian Parliament and one of the signatures of the agreement publicly said “We could have stopped those hostilities with war a year and a half ago, but the British persuaded us and we refused”
Tucker Carlson asked if President Zelensky was free to negotiate with Russia a settlement of the war to which President Putin responded “President Zelensky came to power with overwhelming support due to the promise of peace but “he deceived his voters”
Tucker Carlson about any peace talk to which President Putin said “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia” and said “But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this”
Tucker Carlson asked when the last time President Putin talked to President Biden which President Putin said he did not remember but confirmed it was before February 2022.
President Putin said “I said to him (President Biden) I believe that you are making a huge mistake of historic proportions by supporting everything that is happening there in Ukraine by Pushing Russia away”
Tucker Carlson asked about the weaponization of dollars and President Putin said “It is the main weapon used by the United States to preserve its power across the world” and “It is a stupid thing to do and a grave mistake”
Edited by: Megha Siddapura Manjunatha
Image: Al Jazeera
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