President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia wants an end to the war in Ukraine and that this would inevitably involve a diplomatic solution.

The Straits Times says President Putin made the comments a day after US President Joe Biden hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the White House and promised him continued and unwavering US support.

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

According to The Straits Times, Russia has persistently said it is open to negotiations, but Ukraine and its allies suspect a ploy to buy time after a series of Russian defeats and retreats that have swung the momentum of the 10-month war in favor of Kyiv.

“I have said many times: the intensification of hostilities leads to unjustified losses,” Mr. Putin told reporters.

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

“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.”

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

Mr. Putin also played down the significance of the Patriot air defense system that Mr. Biden agreed to supply to Mr. Zelensky, saying Russia would find a way to counter it.

At the same time, Russia said that Ukraine acquiring Patriot missiles from the United States would not help settle the conflict or prevent Moscow from achieving its goals.

Though the Patriot air defense system is widely regarded as advanced, Mr. Putin dismissed it as “quite old”, telling reporters Moscow would find a way to counter it.