(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin remains open to negotiations but the fighting will go on, his administration said.
While military operations continue, Putin “was and remains open for contacts for negotiations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call on Friday.
His comment -- a reiteration of the Kremlin stance -- was a response to President Joe Biden, who raised the prospect of talks if the Russian leader is committed to ending the war.
Russian forces have been reeling after losing troops and weapons -- and withdrawing from a swathe of territory they seized from Ukraine. Still, Russian missile strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have raised concerns over how citizens will weather the winter with power and water-supply shortages.
Last month, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said he saw a window of opportunity for peace talks, arguing that military victory was unachievable for either side.
Ukraine’s top commander, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, later said there could be no negotiations unless Russia withdraws from all Ukrainian territory.
The US has said talks can’t happen without Ukraine’s involvement.
Putin has said the West could pressure Ukraine to start talks, repeating this stance in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
For his part, Scholz “urged the Russian president to find a diplomatic solution as soon as possible, including a withdrawal of Russian troops,” Steffen Hebestreit, the German chancellor’s chief spokesman, said in an emailed statement.
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