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Ambassador Volker to Newsmax: Neither Biden nor Putin Wants to Say 'No Diplomacy Anymore'

By    |   Monday, 21 February 2022 11:36 AM EST

Ambassador Kurt Volker told Newsmax on Monday that the potential meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin is conditional because neither leader wants to be responsible for the failure of diplomacy in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.

"What happened here is, the French President Emmanuel Macron said that there ought to be more diplomacy, and that he would invite President Biden and President Putin to meet with each other, and neither one of them wants to say no," Volker said during an appearance on Newsmax's "   National Report." "Neither one of them wants to say, Well, no diplomacy anymore."

So, instead, they said yes, Volker said, though there has been no discernable change in the situation.

"Nothing has actually changed on the ground, and nothing is actually changed with Putin's behavior with the buildup of forces, and nothing has changed with the Western position of rejecting these Russian demands of basically signing over Ukraine's sovereignty to Russia," the ambassador said.

Western countries have accused Russia of planning to invade neighboring Ukraine for weeks; however, Moscow denies planning any attack, as thousands of soldiers have amassed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and European heads of state have worked to deescalate tensions.

On Monday, the Kremlin said there were no firm plans for a summit between Biden and Putin, despite Macron's claim that the two leaders had agreed to a meeting.

An adviser to Macron told Reuters that the French president had proposed the meeting to Putin at Biden's request.

"We're slowly changing the course of things," the adviser, who declined to be named, said.

The White House said Biden accepted the meeting "in principle" but only "if an invasion hasn't happened."

"We are always ready for diplomacy," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences, should Russia instead choose war."

Speaking to the Ukrainians' going about their everyday lives as usual, Volker said, "What are they going to do?"

"I mean, they've got to get on with life, and they are going to fight,” he continued. "They've got a military deployed against the front lines as well."

There is also confusion and uncertainty within Ukraine about Putin's intentions, the ambassador said.

"And they're not sure that Putin actually will do it," he said. "I think the Ukrainians, who live next to Russia, and have all their lives, are saying, Look, we know he's capable, but will he really do it? We don't know."

If Putin does invade Ukraine, there are a number of scenarios that could occur, Volker said, among them that he could try to take Kyiv, take the whole country or just have fighting in the east, where pro-Russian rebels control areas.

"They're prepared to face any scenario, and, in the meantime, they've got to get on with life," Volker said.

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Ambassador Kurt Volker told Newsmax on Monday that the potential meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin is conditional because neither leader wants to be responsible for the failure of diplomacy in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.
volker, newsmax, biden, putin, ukraine, invasion
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2022-36-21
Monday, 21 February 2022 11:36 AM
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