Putin says Russia ready to negotiate over Ukraine

 Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine but Kyiv and its Western backers had refused to engage in talks, President Vladimir Putin said.

"We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them - we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are," Putin told state television in an interview.

"I believe that we are acting in the right direction, we are defending our national interests, the interests of our citizens, our people. And we have no other choice but to protect our citizens," Putin said.

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