ISW: Kremlin wants to coerce the West into talks to gain preemptive concessions
Putin, speaking to Scholz yesterday, claimed that Ukraine was allegedly refusing to negotiate because of financial and military aid.
The conversation with Scholz coincided with a diplomatic initiative by US President Joe Biden, who on Thursday said he was ready to talk to Putin if he sought a way to end the war, the BBC reported.
For his part, Scholz said that any diplomatic solution to the conflict must include the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.
ISW previously assessed Putin's rhetoric as an indication that he is not interested in serious negotiations with Ukraine and maintains maximalist goals for the war.
ISW experts also wrote:
The Kremlin probably intends to create a situation in which Western authorities will offer pre-emptive concessions in the hope of persuading them to enter into negotiations without demanding significant preliminary concessions from Russia in return
The statements by Putin, Lavrov and Peskov underscore what some of the desired pre-emptive concessions might be: reducing financial and military aid to Ukraine, recognizing Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory and limiting NATO and Western military action in Europe.