If Biden had been prepared to speak with Mr. Putin this time last year, there may have been no Ukraine War to end. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
President Joe Biden has just issued his biggest overture to Moscow since the war’s start, now more than nine months in, saying he’s “prepared to speak with” Vladimir Putin about the conflict if Russia is ready to wind it down. “I am prepared to speak with Mr Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he is looking for a way to end the war,” Biden said late in the day Thursday, stressing he would need to consult with NATO allies.
“He hasn’t done that yet. If that’s the case, in consultation with my French and Nato friends, I’ll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind,” Biden continued. Biden stressed at the joint press conference with Macron, “There’s one way for this war to end, the rational way: Putin could pull out of Ukraine, No. 1. It appears he’s not going to do that.”
But as FT underscores, “the comments, made at a press conference in Washington, DC, during a bilateral summit with French president Emmanuel Macron, mark the furthest Biden has gone in expressing openness to discuss the war with Putin.”
The surprising remarks, which came after months of the US administration repeatedly emphasized its staunch position that only Ukraine and Ukraine alone can decide the timing of any potential ceasefire talks, included the qualifier that Biden has “no immediate plans” to contact the Russian leader.