Ukraine LIVE: Putin left red-faced on his own stage after key ally rejects his war claims

Vladimir Putin speaks at the Economic Forum in St Petersburg

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Russian officials did their “utmost” to avoid the topic of the war in Ukraine at the annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to reports. The Kremlin leader argued the invasion was justified because he was protecting Russian speakers in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk peoples’ republics of eastern Ukraine, which Russia recognised as independent ahead of the “special military operation”.

Questioned on this line, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who was sitting beside Putin, signalled that he disagreed. He said Kazakhstan does not recognise “quasi-state territories which, in our view, is what Luhansk and Donetsk are”, and added there would be “chaos” in the world if hundreds of new countries emerged.

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KEY EVENTS

  • Putin left red faced on his own stage after key ally rejects his war claims07:41
  • West should not propose deals for peace ‘unacceptable’ for Ukraine

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged the West not to suggest “peace initiatives with unacceptable terms”.

    Writing in the Odessa Journal, he said such proposals “are premised on the idea that, no matter how well Ukrainians fight, they cannot defeat Moscow’s forces”.

    This, Mr Kuleba argued, “is wrong”.

    He drew particular attention to Emmanuel Macron’s claim that the West “must not humiliate Russia” so it can “build an exit ramp” for the country after the war.

    Putin left red faced on his own stage after key ally rejects his war claims

    Few were keen to broach the subject of the war in Ukraine yesterday at the annual Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to reports.

    When Vladimir Putin did so, one of his claims was rejected by a key ally onstage.

    The Kremlin leader argued the invasion was justified because he was protecting Russian-speakers in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk peoples’ republics of eastern Ukraine, which Russia recognised as independent ahead of the “special military operation”.

    Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, sat beside him, signalled that he disagreed.

    He, quoted in Bloomberg, said Kazakhstan does not recognise “quasi-state territories which, in our view, is what Luhansk and Donetsk are”, and added there would be “chaos” in the world hundreds of new countries emerged.

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