Russian President Vladimir Putin denounces the West's "destructive line" on Ukraine and rejects the conditions of US President Joe Biden who wants the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin says Europe is 'not strong enough'… Le Figaro takes stock of the Russian offensive in Ukraine this Friday 2 december.
The White House on Friday clarified Joe Biden's remarks the day before, insisting on the fact that the American president did not plan to discuss for the moment with Vladimir Putin on the Ukrainian file. “He has no intention of exchanging with Vladimir Putin for the moment”, said John Kirby on Friday, National Security Council Spokesperson, which depends on the White House. “And as he also stated, Putin showed absolutely no interest in any dialogue whatsoever – it's actually quite the opposite.", he told the press. Joe Biden said on Thursday he was “ready to talk to Putin if he seeks a way to end the war”, while noting that the Russian president had “not yet done so”.
“If that were the case, then in consultation with my French and NATO friends, I would be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind. He hasn't done it yet.", he said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. These remarks are the closest thing to a signal of openness from Washington for a dialogue with the Kremlin on the war in Ukraine., but Moscow “obviously” rejected the proposal on Friday, understanding that this implied a departure of Russian troops from Ukraine, an option that Russia does not consider.
“Necessary and inevitable”: this is how Vladimir Putin on Friday justified the bombings that devastated, just as winter is coming, Ukrainian energy infrastructure, leaving millions of civilians in the dark and cold. During their first telephone conversation since mid-September and despite a series of stinging military setbacks, the Russian president has meant to stay straight in his boots to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “It has been pointed out that the Russian armed forces have long avoided high-precision missile strikes on certain targets in Ukraine, but such measures have become necessary and unavoidable in the face of provocative attacks from kyiv”, the Kremlin said in a statement, summarizing the words of Vladimir Putin.
According to the Russian President, Kyiv is responsible for the explosions that partially destroyed the Crimean Bridge and other Russian facilities, and therefore Moscow is within its rights by bombing the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, even if it means leaving the civilian population in the cold and in the dark. On the background, Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin could therefore only note their disagreement. During a one-hour telephone interview, the German leader notably “insisted with the Russian president that a diplomatic solution be found as soon as possible, which implies the withdrawal of Russian troops”, said the German chancellery. According to the Kremlin statement, Vladimir Poutine a, Conversely, pointed to the “destructive” position of the West whose political support, financial and military Western incites according to him kyiv to reject “the idea of any negotiation”. Putin called on Scholz 'to review his approach'.
The 27 countries of the European Union have reached an agreement on the capping of 60 dollars per barrel of Russian oil prices after the green light given by Warsaw, announced on Friday in Brussels the representative of Poland. Poland, who demanded a lower price, withdrew its objections and the measure will be formalized this weekend, Andrzej Sados told reporters, Permanent Representative of Poland to the European Union.
The White House on Friday considered the news of this agreement “welcome”. "We continue to believe that a price cap will help limit Vladimir Putin's ability to take advantage of the oil market to continue funding a war machine that continues to kill innocent Ukrainians.", National Security Council spokesman told reporters, John Kirby.
“Bloody packages arrived at embassies in Hungary, in the Nederlands, Poland, and Croatia, in Italy, in Austria, at the consulates general in Naples and Krakow, and at the consulate in Brno», said in a statement on Facebook the spokesperson for Ukrainian diplomacy, Oleg Nikolenko. “The packages contained animal eyes”, he detailed. Before adding, without giving more details: “The wrappers themselves were soaked in a specific color liquid and smelled similar”.
“We have reason to believe that a well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation of Ukrainian embassies and consulates is underway”, on Friday castigated the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kouleba, quoted in press release. "These attempts (d’intimidation) are useless", he pointed out, targeting Russia, which has suffered several humiliating defeats on the military ground in recent weeks in Ukraine. Two days earlier, a letter bomb injured an employee of the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid.
Visiting Australia, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has pointed out that Russia's invasion and occupation of neighboring Ukraine has revealed Europe's weaknesses and strategic errors in the face of Moscow. “I have to be very honest (….) with you, Europe is not strong enough right now, we would be in trouble without the United States”, she pointed to the leader of the country applying for NATO membership at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank.
A maximum of 13.000 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed since Russia invaded their country in February, said an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday. “We have official estimates from the general staff (…) They range from 10.000 (…) at 13.000 dead», and specified by Mykhailo Podolyak, one of Volodymyr Zelensky's advisors, on the Ukrainian Channel 24. According to him, the Head of State will make the official data public “when the time is right”.
When Russian forces fought in June to completely take over the Lugansk region, in eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky had let it be known that his country was losing "60 to 100 soldiers per day, killed in action, and around 500 injured people in action”. In the opposing camp, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in September that 5937 Russian soldiers had then been killed since the start of the conflict on 24 february. The two adversaries are suspected of minimizing the extent of their human losses to avoid weighing on the morale of their troops.