Putin Signals Readiness To Deescalate Airstrikes On Ukraine

Putin Signals Readiness To Deescalate Airstrikes On Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday gave a key speech from Astana, Kazakhstan, where he participated in the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). This followed meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

While he said he sees direct talks with his American counterpart Joe Biden, saying there's "no need" for discussions at this time after conjecture the two could meet on the sidelines of the mid-November G20 summit in Indonesia (which Putin is unlikely to attend in person, though this remains an open question), markets are responding to a rare 'positive' after he indicated no plans for further massive airstrikes on Ukraine at this time. This potential hint at possible de-escalation comes after days of heightened Russian airstrikes on dozens of Ukrainian cities and towns which began Monday.

"We should ask him if he's ready to hold such talks with me or not. I don't see the need, to be honest," Putin said when asked about the possibility of meeting with Putin.

S&P 500 futures jumped to session highs upon the wires citing the Russian leader as saying there's no need for significant strikes on Ukraine now, but have since fallen back below pre-CPI levels...

Putin Signals Readiness To Deescalate Airstrikes On Ukraine

He further said that while Russia is not seeking to "destroy" Ukraine, he still has "no regrets" about ordering the invasion which kicked off over seven months ago. "Our actions are right and timely," he emphasized in the speech.

There is no need for massive strikes now, there are other tasks, because, as far as I know, out of 29 [infrastructure] objects, seven were not hit as planned by the Ministry of Defense. But these objects are being finished off gradually, there is no need for massive strikes, at least for now, and later - we'll see," Putin said, according to a state media translation.

"Now … 222,000 people have been mobilized out of 300,000. I think that within about two weeks all mobilization activities will be completed," he said of the ongoing reservist call-up.

Putin additionally indicated that Russia welcomes mediation from third parties, at a moment Turkey's Erdogan is said to be offering to host more peace talks. "We have always said that we are open [for negotiations]. We even reached certain agreements in Istanbul. In fact, these accords were almost initiated. However, as soon as the Russian troops withdrew from Kiev, Ukraine's desire to negotiate immediately disappeared, that's all," Putin said.

It's likely that Putin could now be looking for an exit from the Ukraine theater in the wake of the annexation votes and declaration over the four territories. He can declare political "victory" - and deem eastern Ukraine part of sovereign Russia, while affirming his objectives for the "special operation" have been met. This despite at the moment the reality remains that none among the four territories are as yet under full Russian military control.

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