By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is prepared to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ending the conflict in Ukraine but emphasized that the Russian leader has not demonstrated a willingness.
"There's one way for this war to end: the rational way, for Putin to pull out of Ukraine," Biden said during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. "He's apparently not going to do that. He's paying a very heavy price for failing to do it, he's inflicting incredible, incredible carnage on the civilian population of Ukraine."
Still, the US president said that while he has "no immediate plans" to speak with his Russian counterpart, should Putin decide he is interested in ending the conflict "I'd be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind."
"He hasn't done that yet. In the meantime, I think it's absolutely critical -- what Emmanuel said -- we must support the Ukrainian people. The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension," he added.
Biden honored Macron with the first state visit of his nearly two-year presidency, with the leaders discussing a wide range of topics, including the war in Ukraine, trade and energy.
Regarding Ukraine, Macron said France "will never urge Ukrainians to make a compromise which will not be acceptable for them, because they are so brave, and they defend precisely their lives, their nation, and our principles."