White House dismisses as unserious Kremlin’s conditional willingness to discuss ending Ukraine war

WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday dismissed as unserious Moscow’s conditional willingness to discuss an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I would look askance at anything coming out of the Kremlin when it comes to those kinds of pronouncements,” White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “Mr. Putin has shown no indication that he's willing to sit down and talk and to end this war.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has always been open to negotiations, Reuters reported. But the U.S.’s refusal to recognize Ukrainian territory claimed by Russia “significantly complicates the search for mutual ground for discussion.”

Peskov was responding to President Joe Biden’s comments at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House Thursday.

Biden said that, while he has no immediate plans to contact Putin, he is prepared to meet with the Russian leader "if he has decided he's looking for a way to end the war."

Kirby said the most visible action Putin could take to show he’s serious is to withdraw his troops, stop shelling Ukrainian infrastructure and cease launching drones at civilian targets.

“Actions speak louder than words,” Kirby said. “And their actions convey a grim determination by the Russians to continue to kill Ukrainians.”

President Joe Biden has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.
President Joe Biden has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House says Putin not serious about talks to end Ukraine war