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‘We don’t want war’: Putin declares he’s ready for NATO negotiations

Vladimir Putin has reportedly declared a willingness to open negotiations with NATO over Ukraine during a meeting with İbrahim Kalın, the Presidential Spokesperson of Turkey. The Kremlin’s representative, Dmitriy Peskov, announced that during the meeting Putin admitted that Russia was not looking to escape talk over Ukraine indefinitely, and was prepared to enter into talks to end the conflict which has left thousands dead and displaced millions of people.

Turkish media reports, Putin said: “We do not want war forever, we will not run away from negotiations.”

Putin’s main demand is that the negotiations be conducted with the USA and the West, especially with Germany, according to Hurriyet.

Putin said: “However, the West must also take into account our conditions.”

It comes as Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Thursday for peace talks over Ukraine after French President Emmanuel Macron appealed to him to “bring Russia to its senses,” but Xi gave no indication Beijing would use its leverage as Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic partner to press for a settlement.

Xi gave no sign China, which declared it had a “no limits friendship” with Moscow before last year’s attack, had changed its stance since calling for peace talks in February.

But he added his personal authority by repeating the appeal at a joint event with Macron in front of reporters.

Xi said: “Peace talks should resume as soon as possible.”

Beijing, which sees Moscow as a partner in opposing U.S. domination of global affairs, has tried to appear neutral in the conflict but has given Putin diplomatic support and repeated Russian justifications for the February 2022 attack.

Assault brigade carry out an AFV attack on Russian trenches near Bakhmut

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Xi received an effusive welcome from Putin when he visited Moscow last month, giving the isolated Russian president a political boost.

The Chinese leader said “legitimate security concerns of all parties” should be considered, a reference to Moscow’s argument that it attacked Ukraine because of the eastward expansion of NATO, the U.S.-European military alliance.

During talks earlier, Macron appealed to Xi to “bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table.”

Macron pointed to Chinese support for the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect of a country’s territorial integrity.

He said Putin’s announcement of plans to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus violated international agreements and commitments to Xi’s government.

The French president said: “We need to find a lasting peace,

“I believe that this is also an important issue for China.”

Macron was accompanied to Beijing by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a show of European unity.

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