The ultra-conservative talk show host Carlson got an interview with Vladimir Putin. Now that Ukraine aid is stuck in Congress, the Republicans on the right are grist for the mill.
The mission of Tucker Carlson, the ultra-right ex-Fox News host, is clear: to finally educate the American public about what is really going on in Russia and Ukraine. Because, as the Russia-friendly Carlson explained in advance in a video: What the media in the USA spread was controlled by the government, disgusting propaganda.
The Kremlin was apparently happy to accept the interview request from Carlson, an ally of former President Donald Trump and spreader of conspiracy narratives. It was the perfect opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to take his message to millions of Americans.
And this at a time when further aid to Ukraine from the USA is more than uncertain. Congress has not yet been able to come to an agreement – the gap between Democrats and Republicans is too deep.
Putin: “Russia is not the aggressor”
And so the men, both in dark suits and ties, sat opposite each other in the Kremlin for over two hours. Putin started with a history excursion that lasted over 20 minutes.
Putin then emphasized once again that Russia was not the aggressor, but was defending its people, the country and its future. He spoke of the need to protect Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine. And he had to prevent Ukraine from posing a threat to Russia after possible NATO accession.
“No interest in Poland”
Moderator Carlson listened with a serious expression on his face, his brow furrowed, and wanted to know whether Putin could imagine a situation in which Russia would allow troops to enter Poland. “No,” Putin replied, “only in one case: if Poland were to attack Russia.”
The president then stated that Russia had no interest in Poland, Latvia or other countries. The NATO countries only tried to intimidate their own people – with an imaginary Russian threat.
Putin sees the USA as having a duty in Ukraine negotiations
Could Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was charged with espionage in Russia, be released? An agreement could be reached, Putin said. However, there are certain conditions that are being discussed between the secret services. Putin indirectly indicated – without naming a name – that he could imagine releasing the US journalist in exchange for a Russian who was sentenced to life in prison for murder in Berlin in 2021.
With regard to Ukraine, Putin also emphasized that he was ready to negotiate. But the USA has it in its hands. If the United States really wanted to end the fighting, the first thing it should do was stop supplying weapons to Ukraine. Then it would be over in a few weeks.
Tugging for further aid to Ukraine
Further aid to Ukraine has been stuck in the US Congress for weeks. It’s a mess. At least the Senate just decided yesterday that it wanted to continue working on and vote on a new bill for aid to Ukraine and Israel.
But even if there were an agreement in the Senate, the House of Representatives would also have to agree. However, Republican representatives from the right have already announced that they will not do this.
And it was in this heated mood that the Chancellor arrived in Washington. Olaf Scholz will meet US President Joe Biden today and has already spoken to senators from both parties. Of course, also to convince the critics of further military aid.
For Republicans on the right, Carlson’s interview may have been grist for the mill.
Nina Barth, ARD Washington, tagesschau, February 9, 2024 6:27 a.m