Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson came under the spotlight on Thursday (Feb 8) after the Russian autocrat gave a rare interview to Trump-supporting rightwing commentator.
The two-hour interview with the former Fox News host, which was recorded in Moscow, was the first one ever given by Putin to a Western media outlet since Russia was invaded by Ukraine in February 2022.
In the past, Carlson has openly criticised the United States for supporting Ukraine and has called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “Ukrainian pimp” and “rat-like”.
Speaking about the possibility of establishment of peace in Ukraine, Putin said to Carlson, “If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons.” The Russian president was referring to Western aid being supplied to Kyiv. “It will be over within a few weeks. That’s it,” he said.
Emphasising the goals of what Putin called the “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin stated that it was yet to be achieved since one of the aims “is de-Nazification.”
In a rare move, Putin further went on to explain what he meant by “de-Nazification.”
“This means the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements. We have to get rid of those people who maintain this concept and support this practice and try to preserve it,” the Russian president said.
The Russian president also defended his decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022.
Putin said the West now understood that Russia won’t be defeated even though Ukraine gets support from US, European and NATO.
“Up until now, there has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat to Russia on the battlefield. But now they are apparently coming to realize that it is difficult to achieve, if possible, at all. In my opinion, it is impossible by definition,” Putin said.
Putin shrugs off Nord Stream blast allegations, says ‘I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream’
Answering Carlson’s questions regarding the attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines which took place in the Baltic Sea in September 2022, Putin denied his involvement in the blast.
Watch: China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin vow deeper ties in phone call
“Who blew up Nord Stream?” quizzed Carlson. Responding to his question, Putin said, “You for sure.” The pundit responded: “I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream.”
(With inputs from agencies)