Ukraine war: Kyiv likely to start peace talks only when resources run out, says Putin

Russian president claims Ukraine would use any potential halt in fighting to rearm with western help

Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukraine was only likely to start peace talks when it ran out of resources and would use any potential halt in fighting to rearm with western help.

Mr Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok, said Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces had so far failed and that the Ukrainian army had sustained heavy losses.

“I have the impression that they want to bite off as much as they can and then, when their resources are close to zero, to achieve a cessation of hostilities and start negotiations in order to replenish their resources and restore combat capability,” Mr Putin said.

The Russian president said many potential mediators had asked him if Russia was ready to stop fighting but he said that Russia could hardly stop fighting when it was facing a Ukrainian counteroffensive.


For there to be any chance of talks, said Mr Putin, Ukraine would first have to cancel its self-imposed legal ban on peace talks and explain what it wanted. “Then we shall see,” Mr Putin said.

Russia controls about 18 per cent of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and a swathe of eastern and southern Ukraine that it took control of in 2022.

For several months, Ukraine has been battling to try to regain some of that territory and has retaken some villages but not yet made significant territorial breakthroughs against heavily fortified Russian lines that are strewn with thousands of landmines.

Ukraine says it will not rest until every last Russian soldier is ejected from its land. The West says it wants to help Ukraine defeat Russia – an aim Kremlin officials say is an unrealistic pipe dream.

Mr Putin said that the West’s decision to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions was a crime, but that while such supplies might prolong the war they would not change its ultimate outcome. He also criticised the West’s decision to supply Ukraine with F-16 jets.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the Black Sea grain deal was on hold, and that there had been no progress in restarting it, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

The deal, brokered last year by the United Nations and Turkey, allowed for the safe export of grain and other foodstuffs from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

Moscow quit the deal in July, accusing the West of failing to honour promises to ensure the shipment of Russia’s own grain and fertiliser exports. Turkey and the United Nations have so far failed to persuade Russia to rejoin the deal.

Elsewhere, two elderly people were killed and three wounded on Tuesday in Russian shelling of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, the prosecutor general’s office said.

It said an 84-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man were killed in their home in the town of Krasnohorivka, west of the city of Donetsk, and that a woman was hurt in the same attack.

Kyiv carried out a drone strike on the city of Enerhodar near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Monday, the head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said on Tuesday, according to a report by Russia’s RIA news agency. Alexei Likhachev said six drones were launched at the city, and all were destroyed.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Reuters could not independently verify the report. – Reuters