Biden and Macron agree: no peace with Putin until he leaves Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said he would be ready to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin “if in fact there is an interest in him deciding that he’s looking for a way to end the war”. Addressing reporters alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, he stressed Mr Putin had not yet done that.

The Kremlin said President Putin remained open to talks aimed “to ensure our interests”. However, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was certainly not ready to accept US conditions: “What did President Biden say in fact? He said that negotiations are possible only after Putin leaves Ukraine.”

It complicated the search for a mutual basis for talks, he said, that the US did not recognise “new territories” in Ukraine, which Russia illegally claimed as its own at the end of September. President Macron made clear that he had agreed with Mr Biden that they would never urge the Ukrainians to make a compromise “that will not be acceptable for them”. Meanwhile, on a visit to Ukraine, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said there could be no peace until Russia stopped lying about what it was doing in Ukraine.

By Evey Lovelace

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