President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia wants an end to the war in Ukraine, and all armed conflicts end with diplomatic negotiations.

“Our goal is not to spin the flywheel of military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war. We are striving for this and will continue to strive,” Putin told reporters. “We will strive for an end to this, and the sooner the better, of course.”

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Speaking a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s visit to the White House, Putin told reporters: “I have said many times: the intensification of hostilities leads to unjustified losses.”

Russia has persistently said it is open to negotiations – prompting intense scepticism from Ukraine and its ally the United States, who suspect it wants to buy time after a series of defeats and retreats in the 10-month war.

Russia says it is Ukraine that is refusing to talk. Kyiv says Russia must halt its attacks and give up territory it has seized.

“All armed conflicts end one way or another with some kind of negotiations on the diplomatic track,” Putin said.

“Sooner or later, any parties in a state of conflict sit down and make an agreement. The sooner this realization comes to those who oppose us, the better. We have never given up on this.”

Putin also played down the significance of the Patriot air defense system that U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to supply to Zelenskiy, saying Russia would find a way to counter it.

He said it was “quite old” and did not work like Russia’s S-300 system. “OK, we will take this into account and an antidote will always be found,” he said.

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