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Ukraine war: Biden ready to meet Putin ‘if’–

US President, Joe Biden says he is ready to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin “if in fact there is an interest in him deciding that he’s looking for a way to end the war”.

In response, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that President Putin remained open to talks aimed “to ensure our interests”.

Mr Peskov added that Moscow was certainly not ready to accept US conditions, saying, “What did President Biden say in fact? He said that negotiations are possible only after Putin leaves Ukraine.”

President Biden’s suggestion that he was ready to talk to the Russian leader came with a heavy caveat as his visiting French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, said on Thursday evening: “we will never urge the Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them.”

President Macron was speaking hours after Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov complained that European countries had offered nothing concrete so far in terms of mediation.

“Macron, by the way, has been regularly stating over the last two weeks that he was planning a conversation with the Russian president,” Mr Lavrov was quoted as saying, while adding that Russia had not had any signals via diplomatic channels.

Mr Lavrov named former US Secretary of State, John Kerry as the kind of figure who had in the past been able to solve problems and engage in true dialogue.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Tony Okerafor