Ukraine-Russia, Putin: “Zelensky say if he wants dialogue”

The Russian president awaits a signal from Kiev: “But the US prohibits talks”

If Ukraine wants to talk to Russia to stop the war, Kiev must send a signal that Moscow has not yet received. It is the message that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, sent from Sochi, where he met his Belarusian colleague Alexander Lukashenko. The pair launched into a series of metaphors about dancing and Ukraine after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that to begin negotiations, “it takes two to tango.”

“Tango is a beautiful dance, but Ukrainians must not forget how to dance gopak. Otherwise they will dance to other people’s music,” Putin now responded, citing a traditional Ukrainian dance. And he repeated that he is open to dialogue with Kiev, but that there is no signal from the other side.

“Americans don’t know how to tango,” Putin continued, quoted by Tass, accusing Washington of wanting to “solve all problems from a position of strength”, with sanctions and threats of use of force. “They want to teach others the steps, but they themselves don’t know them and don’t want to learn them,” he said again.

I have already said that we never refuse to speak. If the other side is available, say it openly… nothing has been heard from the other side”, declared Putin. Lukashenko for his part reiterated the Russian narrative of the United States not allowing Kiev to negotiate “The the dancing had begun,” he said, referring to talks in Belarus immediately after the invasion, but then the United States “gave instructions” to Ukrainian President Zelensky and “forbade any talks.”

Meanwhile, Putin said that cluster munitions “are being used as widely as possible” by the Ukrainian army. The Kremlin’s No. 1 noted that Washington considers the use of such munitions a crime, but at the same time “feels free to do so, and this is the main problem of today’s international relations.”

The issue of cluster munitions, Putin added, “perfectly reflects what is happening in the world as a whole: there is one country that thinks it is exceptional – the United States. Even what they consider a crime, they take on themselves the freedom to commit it. In this case the United States uses cluster munitions with Ukrainian hands.”