Former US ambassador says Putin’s claims he’s open to negotiating end of war directly with US ‘not real’

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor argued Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims in a recent interview that he is open to negotiating with the U.S. to end its war with Ukraine are “not real.”

“It’s not real. It makes no sense,” Taylor told CNN’s Boris Sanchez on Friday. “The Russians have waged war on Ukraine for nearly two years. An agreement to end that war is going to come between the Russians and the Ukrainians.”

Putin sat down with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson on Thursday in the first interview the leader has made with a member of the Western media since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago.

In the interview, the Russian leader said the door was open for negotiations on ending the ongoing war in the region, but much of the interview was consumed by him falsely talking about the nation’s history and repeating talking points to justify his military actions in Ukraine and elsewhere.

The interview came as Congress struggles to pass a supplemental funding bill that would provide more aid to Ukraine. The Senate voted Friday evening to push the $95.3 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security priorities closer to passing, but it hasn’t come without a struggle.

Taylor argued that while the U.S. has provided Ukraine with assistance throughout its counteroffensive, “this is the Russians and Ukrainians who will end this war.”

The former ambassador said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has increased his pleas to Europe for aid, as Congress’s internal conflicts have delayed critical aid packages from being sent to Kyiv.

“President Zelensky clearly needs the U.S.’s assistance,” Taylor said. “He needs that in order to defend against what he’s got and eventually push back the Russians. So, he’s worried about this assistance package that’s here in Washington.”

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