Putin Tells Tucker Carlson Expanding War Beyond Ukraine ‘Out of the Question’

by EditorL
 Russian leader said that NATO is attempting to intimidate its own population with an ‘imaginary’ Russian threat.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024. (GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has “absolutely” no interest in expanding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to other countries and accused the West of exaggerating the nuclear threat posed by his country.

During a two-hour interview with Tucker Carlson in Moscow on Tuesday, Mr. Putin accused NATO countries of attempting to intimidate their populations with an “imaginary” Russian threat.

NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance comprised of 29 European countries, the United States, and Canada.

When Mr. Carlson asked if NATO was worried about the conflict in Ukraine escalating into a global war or a nuclear conflict, Mr. Putin responded, “At least that’s what they’re talking about,” attributing these concerns to attempts to manipulate public opinion.

“They’re trying to intimidate their own population within an imaginary Russian threat,” Mr. Putin added. “This is an obvious fact.”

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Mr. Putin insisted that informed individuals, particularly analysts and those engaged in real politics, understand that the perceived threat is “fake.”

‘Send Russian Troops to Poland?’

When asked, the Russian president clarified that the threat he spoke of related to the potential expansion of the conflict to include Russian forces invading Poland and other Eastern European countries.

“Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland?” Mr. Carlson asked.

Mr. Putin categorically stated that such a scenario would only occur if “Poland attacks Russia.”

“Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest. It’s just threat-mongering,” he added.

Mr. Putin dismissed the accusation that his invasion of Ukraine indicates his greater territorial ambitions.

“It is absolutely out of the question,” Mr. Putin said. “You don’t have to be any kind of analyst. It goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war. And a global war will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction. It’s obvious.”

According to Mr. Putin, Russia has been used to “scar[e] everyone” in the United States and Europe with the constant threat of nuclear war in order to “extort additional money from U.S. taxpayers and European taxpayers in the confrontation with Russia in the Ukrainian theater of war.”

“The goal is to weaken Russia as much as possible,” he added.

The interview, which marks the first time a Western journalist has interviewed the Russian president since the conflict began in 2022, delved into various topics.

Defending the war in Ukraine, Mr. Putin spoke for more than 30 minutes about the history of Eastern Europe.

“Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue,” Mr. Carlson asked. “How did you conclude that?”

“It’s not that America, the United States, was going to launch a surprise strike on Russia,” Mr. Putin said. “I didn’t say that. Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?”

The Russian president asserted that certain regions of Ukraine had historical ties to Russia and had been part of its territory for an extended period.

War ‘Will Be Over Within a Few Weeks’ if US Stops Arming Ukraine

In October 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shut down prospects of having any peace talks with Mr. Putin when he signed a decree.

When asked by Mr. Carlson why peace talks hadn’t occurred, Mr. Putin, referring to Mr. Zelenskyy, said, “But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this?”

Mr. Putin said that the last time he spoke with President Joe Biden was before Russia invaded Ukraine when he told him that U.S. support for Ukraine would be a “huge mistake.” The Russian president directed Mr. Carlson to ask the White House for more details about their conversation.

The Russian president said that the war in Ukraine could end in a few weeks if the United States stops arming Ukraine, insisting that channels of communication remain open between Moscow and Washington.

When pushed on why he doesn’t pick up the phone and call President Biden to say, “Let’s work this out,” Mr. Putin responded, asking Mr. Carlson, “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 U.S. 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,” Mr. Putin said.

Mr. Carlson’s final question focused on the detained U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich. Mr. Putin indicated there are ongoing talks with U.S. officials and a possibility of reaching a deal to release the reporter “if our partners take reciprocal steps.”

Mr. Putin also touched upon his relationships with U.S. presidents, asserting that he had a “very good relationship” with President George W. Bush.

“He was no worse than any other American or Russian or European politician,” Mr Putin said. “I assure you he understood what he was doing as well as others. I had such [a] personal relationship with Trump as well.”

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