Before launching into the transcript, I want to note something that Anons have picked up on that might truly mean nothing…or it could represent what some of us have grown to understand as “comms.”
At one minute 19 seconds into Tucker’s presentation, the interview starts…”Mr President, thank you…” At one minute 36 seconds in, exactly 17 seconds later, Putin takes off his wrist watch and puts it on the table, maybe next to a pen (I can’t tell). Some say that Putin may simply have been signalling that they have all the time in the world for the interview. It did go for over two hours, and Tucker is the one who ended it.
Maybe it was a hat tip to Q (17th letter) as “message received,” and thus encouragement. Anything and everything that has to do with the number 17 is noted and celebrated by Anons.
In the Russian version from RT, we see Putin for the first time at the twenty five second mark, rubbing his wrist after taking the watch off, so the 17 second mark Q reference is clearly intended by Tucker.
As Tucker noted in his preamble, Putin took the first half hour of the interview to go over the historical borders in the region, and how things have shifted over the years. We’re including part of the transcript that follows that description…
Tucker Carlson: Many in America thought that relations between Russia and United States would be fine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, at the core. But the opposite happened. But have never explained why you think that happened, except to say that the West fears a strong Russia. But we have a strong China that the West doesn’t seem to be very afraid of. What about Russia, what do you think convinced the policymakers to take it down?
Vladimir Putin: The West is afraid of a strong China more than it fears a strong Russia because Russia has 150 million people, and China has a 1.5 billion population, and its economy is growing by leaps and bounds — over five percent a year, it used to be even more. But that’s enough for China. As Bismark once put it, potentials are most important. China’s potential is enormous — it is the biggest economy in the world today in terms of purchasing power parity and the size of the economy. It has already overtaken the United States, quite a long time ago, and it is growing at a rapid clip.
Let’s not talk about who is afraid of whom, let’s not reason in such terms. And let’s get into the fact that after 1991, when Russia expected that it would be welcomed into the brotherly family of ”civilized nations,“ nothing like this happened. You tricked us (I don’t mean you personally when I say ”you,“ of course, I’m talking about the United States), the promise was that NATO would not expand eastward, but it happened five times, there were five waves of expansion. We tolerated all that, we were trying to persuade them, we were saying: ”Please don’t, we are as bourgeois now as you are, we are a market economy, and there is no Communist Party power. Let’s negotiate.“ Moreover, I have also said this publicly before (let’s look at Yeltsin’s times now), there was a moment when a certain rift started growing between us. Before that, Yeltsin came to the United States, remember, he spoke in Congress and said the good words: ”God bless America“. Everything he said were signals — let us in.
Remember the developments in Yugoslavia, before that Yeltsin was lavished with praise, as soon as the developments in Yugoslavia started, he raised his voice in support of Serbs, and we couldn’t but raise our voices for Serbs in their defense. I understand that there were complex processes underway there, I do. But Russia could not help raising its voice in support of Serbs, because Serbs are also a special and close to us nation, with Orthodox culture and so on. It’s a nation that has suffered so much for generations. Well, regardless, what is important is that Yeltsin expressed his support. What did the United States do? In violation of international law and the UN Charter it started bombing Belgrade.
It was the United States that let the genie out of the bottle. Moreover, when Russia protested and expressed its resentment, what was said? The UN Charter and international law have become obsolete. Now everyone invokes international law, but at that time they started saying that everything was outdated, everything had to be changed.
Indeed, some things need to be changed as the balance of power has changed, it’s true, but not in this manner. Yeltsin was immediately dragged through the mud, accused of alcoholism, of understanding nothing, of knowing nothing. He understood everything, I assure you.
Well, I became President in 2000. I thought: okay, the Yugoslav issue is over, but we should try to restore relations. Let’s reopen the door that Russia had tried to go through. And moreover, I’ve said it publicly, I can reiterate. At a meeting here in the Kremlin with the outgoing President Bill Clinton, right here in the next room, I said to him, I asked him, ” Bill, do you think if Russia asked to join NATO, do you think it would happen?“ Suddenly he said: ”You know, it’s interesting, I think so.“ But in the evening, when we had dinner, he said, ”You know, I’ve talked to my team, no-no, it’s not possible now.“ You can ask him, I think he will watch our interview, he’ll confirm it. I wouldn’t have said anything like that if it hadn’t happened. Okay, well, it’s impossible now.
Tucker Carlson: Were you sincere? Would you have joined NATO?
Vladimir Putin: Look, I asked the question, ”Is it possible or not?“ And the answer I got was no. If I was insincere in my desire to find out what the leadership’s position was…
Tucker Carlson: But if he would say yes, would you have joined NATO?
Vladimir Putin: If he had said yes, the process of rapprochement would have commenced, and eventually it might have happened if we had seen some sincere wish on the side of our partners. But it didn’t happen. Well, no means no, okay, fine.
Tucker Carlson: Why do you think that is? Just to get to motive. I know, you’re clearly bitter about it. I understand. But why do you think the West rebuffed you then? Why the hostility? Why did the end of the Cold War not fix the relationship? What motivates this from your point of view?
Vladimir Putin: You said I was bitter about the answer. No, it’s not bitterness, it’s just a statement of fact. We’re not the bride and groom, bitterness, resentment, it’s not about those kinds of matters in such circumstances. We just realised we weren’t welcome there, that’s all. Okay, fine. But let’s build relations in another manner, let’s look for common ground elsewhere. Why we received such a negative response, you should ask your leader. I can only guess why: too big a country, with its own opinion and so on. And the United States – I have seen how issues are being resolved in NATO.
I will give you another example now, concerning Ukraine. The US leadership exerts pressure, and all NATO members obediently vote, even if they do not like something. Now, I’ll tell you what happened in this regard with Ukraine in 2008, although it’s being discussed, I’m not going to open a secret to you, say anything new. Nevertheless, after that, we tried to build relations in different ways. For example, the events in the Middle East, in Iraq, we were building relations with the United States in a very soft, prudent, cautious manner.
I repeatedly raised the issue that the United States should not support separatism or terrorism in the North Caucasus. But they continued to do it anyway. And political support, information support, financial support, even military support came from the United States and its satellites for terrorist groups in the Caucasus.
I once raised this issue with my colleague, also the President of the United States. He says, ”It’s impossible! Do you have proof?“ I said, ”Yes.“ I was prepared for this conversation and I gave him that proof. He looked at it and, you know what he said? I apologise, but that’s what happened, I’ll quote. He says, ”Well, I’m gonna kick their ass.” We waited and waited for some response – there was no reply.
I said to the FSB Director: ”Write to the CIA. What is the result of the conversation with the President?“ He wrote once, twice, and then we got a reply. We have the answer in the archive. The CIA replied: ”We have been working with the opposition in Russia. We believe that this is the right thing to do and we will keep on doing it.“ Just ridiculous. Well, okay. We realised that it was out of the question.
Tucker Carlson: Forces in opposition to you? Do you think the CIA is trying to overthrow your government?
Vladimir Putin: Of course, they meant in that particular case the separatists, the terrorists who fought with us in the Caucasus. That’s who they called the opposition. This is the second point.
The third moment, a very important one, is the moment when the US missile defense (ABM) system was created. The beginning. We persuaded for a long time not to do it in the United States. Moreover, after I was invited by Bush Jr.’s father, Bush Sr. to visit his place on the ocean, I had a very serious conversation with President Bush and his team. I proposed that the United States, Russia and Europe jointly create a missile defense system that, we believe, if created unilaterally, threatens our security, despite the fact that the United States officially said that it was being created against missile threats from Iran. That was the justification for the deployment of the missile defense system. I suggested working together – Russia, the United States, and Europe. They said it was very interesting. They asked me, ”Are you serious?“ I said, “Absolutely.”
Tucker Carlson: May I ask what year was this?
Vladimir Putin: I don’t remember. It is easy to find out on the Internet, when I was in the USA at the invitation of Bush Sr. It is even easier to learn from someone, I’m going to tell you about.
I was told it was very interesting. I said, ”Just imagine if we could tackle such a global, strategic security challenge together. The world would change. We’ll probably have disputes, probably economic and even political ones, but we could drastically change the situation in the world.“ He says, ”Yes.“ And asks: ”Are you serious?“ I said, ”Of course.“ ”We need to think about it,“ I’m told. I said, ”Go ahead, please.“
Then Secretary of Defense R.Gates, former Director of the CIA, and Secretary of State C.Rice came here, in this cabinet. Right here, at this table, they sat on this side. Me, the Foreign Minister, the Russian Defense Minister – on that side. They said to me, ”Yes, we have thought about it, we agree.“ I said, ”Thank God, great.“ – ”But with some exceptions.“
Tucker Carlson: So, twice you’ve described US presidents making decisions and then being undercut by their agency heads. So, it sounds like you’re describing a system that is not run by the people who are elected, in your telling.
Vladimir Putin: That’s right, that’s right. In the end they just told us to get lost. I am not going to tell you the details, because I think it is incorrect, after all, it was a confidential conversation. But our proposal was declined, that’s a fact.
It was right then when I said: ”Look, but then we will be forced to take counter measures. We will create such strike systems that will certainly overcome missile defense systems.“ The answer was: ”We are not doing this against you, and you do what you want, assuming that it is not against us, not against the United States“. I said, ”Okay.“
Very well, that’s the way it went. And we created hypersonic systems, with intercontinental range, and we continue to develop them. We are now ahead of everyone – the United States and other countries – in terms of the development of hypersonic strike systems, and we are improving them every day.
But it wasn’t us, we proposed to go the other way, and we were pushed back.
Now, about NATO’s expansion to the East. Well, we were promised, no NATO to the East, not an inch to the East, as we were told. And then what? They said, ”Well, it’s not enshrined on paper, so we’ll expand.“ So there were five waves of expansion, the Baltic States, the whole of Eastern Europe, and so on.
And now I come to the main thing: they have come to Ukraine ultimately. In 2008 at the summit in Bucharest they declared that the doors for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO were open.
Now about how decisions are made there. Germany, France seemed to be against it as well as some other European countries. But then, as it turned out later, President Bush, and he is such a tough guy, a tough politician, as I was told later, ”He exerted pressure on us and we had to agree.“ It’s ridiculous, it’s like kindergarten. Where are the guarantees? What kindergarten is this, what kind of people are these, who are they? You see, they were pressed, they agreed. And then they say, ”Ukraine won’t be in NATO, you know.“ I say, ”I don’t know, I know you agreed in 2008, why won’t you agree in the future?“ ”Well, they pressed us then.“ I say, ”Why won’t they press you tomorrow? And you’ll agree again.“
Well, it’s nonsensical. Who’s there to talk to, I just don’t understand. We’re ready to talk. But with whom? Where are the guarantees? None.
So, they started to develop the territory of Ukraine. Whatever is there, I have told you the background, how this territory developed, what kind of relations there were with Russia. Every second or third person there has always had some ties with Russia. And during the elections in already independent, sovereign Ukraine, which gained its independence as a result of the Declaration of Independence, and, by the way, it says that Ukraine is a neutral state, and in 2008 suddenly the doors or gates to NATO were open to it. Oh, come on! This is not how we agreed. Now, all the presidents that have come to power in Ukraine, they’ve relied on an electorate with a good attitude to Russia in one way or another. This is the south-east of Ukraine, this is a large number of people. And it was very difficult to desuade this electorate, which had a positive attitude towards Russia.
Viktor Yanukovych came to power, and how: the first time he won after President Kuchma – they organised a third round, which is not provided for in the Constitution of Ukraine. This is a coup d’état. Just imagine, someone in the United States wouldn’t like the outcome…
Tucker Carlson: In 2014?
Vladimir Putin: Before that. No, this was before that. After President Kuchma, Viktor Yanukovich won the elections. However, his opponents did not recognize that victory, the US supported the opposition and the third round was scheduled. What is this? This is a coup. The US supported it and the winner of the third round came to power. Imagine if in the US, something was not to someone’s liking and the third round of election, which the US Constitution does not provide for, was organized, Nonetheless, it was done in Ukraine. Okay, Viktor Yushchenko who was considered a pro-Western politician, came to power. Fine, we have built relations with him as well. He came to Moscow with visits, we visited Kiev. I visited it too. We met in an informal setting. If he is pro-Western, so be it. It’s fine, let people do their job. The situation should develop inside the independent Ukraine itself. As a result of Kuchma’s leadership, things got worse and Viktor Yanukovich came to power after all.
Maybe he wasn’t the best President and politician. I don’t know, I don’t want to give assessments. However, the issue of the association with the EU came up. We have always been lenient to this: suit yourself. But when we read through that treaty of association it turned out to be a problem for us, since we had a free-trade zone and open customs borders with Ukraine which, under this association, had to open its borders for Europe, which could have led to flooding of our market.
We said, “No, this is not going to work. We shall close our borders with Ukraine then.” The customs borders, that is. Yanukovich started to calculate how much Ukraine was going to gain, how much to lose and said to his European partners: “I need more time to think before signing.” The moment he said that, the opposition began to take destructive steps which were supported by the West. It all came down to Maidan and a coup in Ukraine.
Tucker Carlson: So, he did more trade with Russia than with the EU? Ukraine did…
Vladimir Putin: Of course. It’s not even the matter of trade volume, although for the most part it is. It is the matter of cooperation ties which the entire Ukrainian economy was based on. The cooperation ties between the enterprises were very close since the times of the Soviet Union. One enterprise there used to produce components to be assembled both in Russia and Ukraine and vice versa. There used to be very close ties.
A coup d’etat was committed, although, I shall not delve into details now as I find doing it inappropriate, the US told us, “Calm Yanukovich down and we will calm the opposition. Let the situation unfold in the scenario of a political settlement”. We said, “Alright. Agreed. Let’s do it this way”. As the Americans requested us, Yanukovich did use neither the Armed Forces, nor the police, yet the armed opposition committed a coup in Kiev. What is that supposed to mean? “Who do you think you are?” I wanted to ask the then US leadership.
Tucker Carlson: With the backing of whom?
Vladimir Putin: With the backing of CIA, of course. The organization you wanted to join back in the day, as I understand. Maybe we should thank God they didn’t let you in. Although, it is a serious organization. I understand. My former vis-à-vis, in the sense that I served in the First Main Directorate – Soviet Union’s intelligence service. They have always been our opponents. A job is a job.
Technically they did everything right, they achieved their goal of changing the government. However, from political standpoint, it was a colossal mistake. Surely, it was political leadership’s miscalculation. They should have seen what it would evolve into.
So, in 2008 the doors of NATO were opened for Ukraine. In 2014, there was a coup, they started persecuting those who did not accept the coup, and it was indeed a coup, they created a threat to Crimea which we had to take under our protection. They launched a war in Donbass in 2014 with the use of aircraft and artillery against civilians. This is when it started. There is a video of aircraft attacking Donetsk from above. They launched a large-scale military operation, then another one. When they failed, they started to prepare the next one. All this against the background of military development of this territory and opening of NATO’s doors.
How could we not express concern over what was happening? From our side, this would have been a culpable negligence – that’s what it would have been. It’s just that the US political leadership pushed us to the line we could not cross because doing so could have ruined Russia itself. Besides, we could not leave our brothers in faith and, in fact, a part of Russian people, in the face of this “war machine.”
Tucker Carlson: So, that was eight years before the current conflict started. What was the trigger for you? What was the moment where you decided you had to do this?
Vladimir Putin: Initially, it was the coup in Ukraine that provoked the conflict.
By the way, back then the representatives of three European countries – Germany, Poland and France – arrived. They were the guarantors of the signed agreement between the Government of Yanukovich and the opposition. They signed it as guarantors. Despite that, the opposition committed a coup and all these countries pretended that they didn’t remember that they were guarantors of peaceful settlement. They just threw it in the stove right away and nobody recalls that.
I don’t know if the US know anything about that agreement between the opposition and the authorities and its three guarantors who, instead of bringing this whole situation back in the political field, supported the coup. Although, it was meaningless, believe me, because President Yanukovich agreed to all conditions, he was ready to hold early election which he had no chance to win, frankly speaking, Everyone knew that. Then why the coup, why the victims? Why threatening Crimea? Why launching an operation in Donbass? This I do not understand. That is exactly what the miscalculation is. CIA did its job to complete the coup. I think one of the Deputy Secretaries of State said that it cost a large sum of money, almost 5 billion. But the political mistake was colossal! Why would they have to do that? All this could have been done legally, without victims, without military action, without losing Crimea. We would have never considered to even lift a finger, if it hadn’t been for the bloody developments on Maidan.
Because we agreed with the fact that after the collapse of the Soviet Union our borders should be along the borders of former Union’s republics. We agreed to that. But we never agreed to NATO’s expansion and moreover we never agreed that Ukraine would be in NATO. We did not agree to NATO bases there without any discussion with us. For decades we kept asking: don’t do this, don’t do that.
And what triggered the latest events? Firstly, the current Ukrainian leadership declared that it would not implement the Minsk Agreements, which had been signed, as you know, after the events of 2014, in Minsk, where the plan of peaceful settlement in Donbass was set forth. But no, the current Ukrainian leadership, Foreign Minister, all other officials and then President himself said that they don’t like anything about the Minsk Agreements. In other words, they were not going to implement it. A year or a year and a half ago, former leaders of Germany and France said openly to the whole world that they indeed signed the Minsk Agreements but they never intended to implement them. They simply led us by the nose.
Tucker Carlson: Was there anyone free to talk to? Did you call the US President, Secretary of State and say if you keep militarizing Ukraine with NATO forces, we are going to act?
Vladimir Putin: We talked about this all the time. We addressed the United States’ and European countries’ leadership to stop these developments immediately, to implement the Minsk Agreements. Frankly speaking, I didn’t know how we were going to do this but I was ready to implement them. These Agreements were complicated for Ukraine; they included lots of elements of those Donbass territories’ independence. That’s true. However, I was absolutely confident, and I am saying this to you now: I honestly believed that if we managed to convince the residents of Donbass – and we had to work hard to convince them to return to the Ukrainian statehood – then gradually the wounds would start to heal. When this part of territory reintegrated itself into common social environment, when the pensions and social benefits were paid again, all the pieces would gradually fall into place.
No, nobody wanted that, everybody wanted to resolve the issue by military force only. But we could not let that happen. And the situation got to the point, when the Ukrainian side announced: ”No, we will not do anything.“ They also started preparing for military action. It was they who started the war in 2014. Our goal is to stop this war. And we did not start this war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it.
Tucker Carlson: Do you think you have stopped it now? I mean have you achieved your aims?
Vladimir Putin: No, we haven’t achieved our aims yet, because one of them is denazification. This means the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements. This is one of the problems that we discussed during the negotiation process, which ended in Istanbul early last year, and it was not our initiative, because we were told (by the Europeans, in particular) that ”it was necessary to create conditions for the final signing of the documents.“ My counterparts in France and Germany said, ”How can you imagine them signing a treaty with a gun to their heads? The troops should be pulled back from Kiev. ‘I said, ‘All right.’ We withdrew the troops from Kiev.
As soon as we pulled back our troops from Kiev, our Ukrainian negotiators immediately threw all our agreements reached in Istanbul into the bin and got prepared for a longstanding armed confrontation with the help of the United States and its satellites in Europe. That is how the situation has developed. And that is how it looks now.
Tucker Carlson: What is denazification? What would that mean?
Vladimir Putin: That is what I want to talk about right now. It is a very important issue.
Denazification. After gaining independence, Ukraine began to search, as some Western analysts say, its identity. And it came up with nothing better than to build this identity upon some false heroes who collaborated with Hitler.
I have already said that in the early 19th century, when the theorists of independence and sovereignty of Ukraine appeared, they assumed that an independent Ukraine should have very good relations with Russia. But due to the historical development, these territories were part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – Poland, where Ukrainians were persecuted and treated quite brutally as well as were subject to cruel behavior. There were also attempts to destroy their identity. All this remained in the memory of the people. When World War II broke out, part of this extremely nationalist elite collaborated with Hitler, believing that he would bring them freedom. The German troops, even the SS troops made Hitler’s collaborators do the dirtiest work of exterminating the Polish and Jewish population. Hence this brutal massacre of the Polish and Jewish population as well as the Russian population too. This was led by the persons who are well known – Bandera, Shukhevich. It was these people who were made national heroes – that is the problem. And we are constantly told that nationalism and neo-Nazism exist in other countries as well. Yes, there are seedlings, but we uproot them, and other countries fight against them. But Ukraine is not the case. These people have been made into national heroes in Ukraine. Monuments to these people have been erected, they are displayed on flags, their names are shouted by crowds that walk with torches, as it was in Nazi Germany. These were the people who exterminated Poles, Jews and Russians. It is necessary to stop this practice and prevent the dissemination of this concept.
I say that Ukrainians are part of the one Russian people. They say, ”No, we are a separate people.“ Okay, fine. If they consider themselves a separate people, they have the right to do so, but not on the basis of Nazism, the Nazi ideology.
Tucker Carlson: Would you be satisfied with the territory that you have now?
Vladimir Putin: I will finish answering the question. You just asked a question about neo-Nazism and denazification.
Look, the President of Ukraine visited Canada. This story is well known, but is silenced in the Western countries: The Canadian parliament introduced a man who, as the speaker of the parliament said, fought against the Russians during the World War II. Well, who fought against the Russians during World War II? Hitler and his accomplices. It turned out that this man served in the SS troops. He personally killed Russians, Poles, and Jews. The SS troops consisted of Ukrainian nationalists who did this dirty work. The President of Ukraine stood up with the entire Parliament of Canada and applauded this man. How can this be imagined? The President of Ukraine himself, by the way, is a Jew by nationality.
Tucker Carlson: Really, my question is: What do you do about it? I mean, Hitler has been dead for eighty years, Nazi Germany no longer exists, and it’s true. So, I think, what you are saying, you want to extinguish or at least control Ukrainian nationalism. But how do you do that?
Vladimir Putin: Listen to me. Your question is very subtle.
And can I tell you what I think? Do not take offense.
Tucker Carlson: Of course!
Vladimir Putin: This question appears to be subtle, it is quite pesky.
You say Hitler has been dead for so many years, 80 years. But his example lives on. People who exterminated Jews, Russians and Poles are alive. And the president, the current president of today’s Ukraine applauds him in the Canadian Parliament, gives a standing ovation! Can we say that we have completely uprooted this ideology if what we see is happening today? That is what denazification is in our understanding. We have to get rid of those people who maintain this concept and support this practice and try to preserve it – that is what denazification is. That is what we mean.
Tucker Carlson: Right. My question is almost specific, it was, of course, not a defense of Nazism. Otherwise, it was a practical question. You don’t control the entire country, you don’t seem like you want to. So, how do you eliminate that culture, or an ideology, or feelings, or a view of history, in a country that you don’t control? What do you do about that?
Vladimir Putin: You know, as strange as it may seem to you, during the negotiations in Istanbul we did agree that – we have it all in writing – neo-Nazism would not be cultivated in Ukraine, including that it would be prohibited at the legislative level.
Mr. Carlson, we agreed on that. This, it turns out, can be done during the negotiation process. And there is nothing humiliating for Ukraine as a modern civilized State. Is any state allowed to promote Nazism? It is not, is it? That is it.
Tucker Carlson: Will there be talks? And why haven’t there been talks about resolving the conflict in Ukraine? Peace talks.
Vladimir Putin: They have been. They reached a very high stage of coordination of positions in a complex process, but still they were almost finalized. But after we withdrew our troops from Kiev, as I have already said, the other side (Ukraine) threw away all these agreements and obeyed the instructions of Western countries, European countries and the United States to fight Russia to the bitter end.
Moreover, the President of Ukraine has legislated a ban on negotiating with Russia. He signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia. But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this? We know that he is putting forward some ideas about this settlement. But in order to agree on something, we need to have a dialog. Is not that right?
Tucker Carlson: Well, but you would not be speaking to the Ukrainian president, you would be speaking to the American president. When was the last time you spoke to Joe Biden?
Vladimir Putin: I cannot remember when I talked to him. I do not remember, we can look it up.
Tucker Carlson: You do not remember?!
Vladimir Putin: No, why? Do I have to remember everything? I have my own things to do. We have domestic political affairs.
Tucker Carlson: But he is funding the war that you are fighting, so I think that would be memorable?
Vladimir Putin: Well, yes, he funds, but I talked to him before the Special Military Operation, of course. And I said to him then, by the way – I will not go into details, I never do – but I said to him then: ”I believe that you are making a huge mistake of historic proportions by supporting everything that is happening there, in Ukraine, by pushing Russia away.“ I told him, told him repeatedly, by the way. I think that would be correct if I stop here.
Tucker Carlson: What did he say?
Vladimir Putin: Ask him, please. It is easier for you, you are a citizen of the United States, go and ask him. It is not appropriate for me to comment on our conversation.
Tucker Carlson: But you haven’t spoken to him since before February of 2022?
Vladimir Putin: No, we haven’t spoken. Certain contacts are been maintained though. Speaking of which, do you remember what I told you about my proposal to work together on a missile defense system?
Tucker Carlson: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: You can ask all of them. All of them are safe and sound, thank God. The former President, Condoleezza is safe and sound, and, I think, Mr. Gates, and the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Burns, the then Ambassador to Russia, in my opinion, a very successful Ambassador. They were all witnesses to these conversations. Ask them.
Same here, if you are interested in what Mr. President Biden responded to me, ask him. At any rate, I talked to him about it.
At any rate, I talked to him about it.
Tucker Carlson: I am definitely interested. But from the other side it seems like it could devolve, evolve into something that brings the entire world into conflict, and could initiate a nuclear launch, and so why don’t you just call Biden and say “let’s work this out?”
Vladimir Putin: What’s there to work out? It’s very simple. I repeat, we have contacts through various agencies. I will tell you what we are saying on this matter and what we are conveying to the US leadership: ”If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons. It will be over within a few weeks. That’s it. And then we can agree on some terms before you do that, stop.“
What’s easier? Why would I call him? What should I talk to him about? Or beg him for what? ”You’re going to deliver such and such weapons to Ukraine. Oh, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, please don’t.“ What is there to talk about?
Tucker Carlson: Do you think NATO was worried about this becoming a global war or nuclear conflict?
Vladimir Putin: At least that’s what they’re talking about. And they are trying to intimidate their own population with an imaginary Russian threat. This is an obvious fact. And thinking people, not philistines, but thinking people, analysts, those who are engaged in real politics, just smart people understand perfectly well that this is a fake. They are trying to fuel the Russian threat.
Find the full transcript here: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411