Relations between Russia and the United States are experiencing “a deep crisis,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
Putin said that Russia stands in favour of building relations with the United States if these are based on the principles of equality, respect for sovereignty, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
Ukraine shows a willingness to discuss Crimea if its forces reach the border, reports say. In an interview with the Financial Times, Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of Zelenskiy’s office, said: “If we will succeed in achieving our strategic goals on the battlefield and when we will be on the administrative border with Crimea, we are ready to open [a] diplomatic page to discuss this issue.” “It doesn’t mean that we exclude the way of liberation [of Crimea] by our army.”
The FT report continues: Sybiha’s remarks may relieve Western officials who are sceptical about Ukraine’s ability to reclaim the peninsula and worry that any attempt to do so militarily could lead Vladimir Putin to escalate his war, possibly with nuclear weapons.
To date, Zelenskiy has ruled out peace talks until Russian forces leave all of Ukraine, including Crimea. Sybiha is a veteran diplomat who focuses on foreign policy in the president’s office and has been at Zelenskiy’s side at key moments in the war. He said the president and his aides were now talking specifically about Crimea, as Ukraine’s army gets closer to launching its counteroffensive to regain territory.
Putin spoke on the state of Russia-U.S. relations during a ceremony where the president received letters of credence from 17 newly-appointed ambassadors of foreign states. “Relations between Russia and the United States… are going through a deep crisis,” the president said.
He also said that this crisis was rooted in “fundamentally different approaches to the formation of the modern world order.” Putin noted that global security strongly depends on the relations between both countries and that the United States is ultimately responsible for both the Ukrainian crisis and the deterioration of bilateral ties with Russia.
The Russian president further commented on Russia’s strained relations with the European Union (EU). He said that the EU no longer aimed to develop economic cooperation and promote integration on the European continent, but was currently focused on “initiating a geopolitical confrontation with Russia.” Putin expressed the hope that it would ultimately be possible to build relations with the EU, and that “the logic of mutual cooperation” would prevail.