the package
© Christoph Soeder/Getty ImagesArtillery rounds bound for Ukraine are loaded on a US cargo plane last year in Rzeszow, Poland.
The fighting would end within three months if Washington quits providing weapons to Kiev, the Russian president has claimed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has argued that Washington has the power to end the bloodshed in Ukraine by cutting off the weapons shipments that are prolonging the conflict.

Speaking with heads of international news agencies on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Putin revealed that he received a letter from US President Joe Biden regarding the Ukraine crisis. He said he replied:
"If you want to stop the hostilities in Ukraine, stop supplying the weapons. Then, in two to three months, everything will be over."
Putin made his comments as escalating Western military aid to Ukraine threatens to widen the conflict. US lawmakers approved an additional $61 billion in aid to Kiev in April, after Biden's administration had burned through $113 billion in previously passed spending bills. Putin suggested that as the US and its allies give Kiev long-range munitions targeting Russian territory, Moscow could respond by supplying similar weaponry to foreign parties that might use them to strike Ukraine's backers.

Washington is Ukraine's largest Western supplier, by far. Biden is seeking reelection later this year in a race with Republican challenger Donald Trump, who has pledged to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict within 24 hours by forcing leaders of both countries to the bargaining table.

Asked how a Trump victory in November might affect US policy in Ukraine, Putin said it would depend on whether the new administration prioritizes the interests of its own people, rather than the destructive forces of "global liberalism."
"If they are guided by national interests, then there may be some changes in foreign policy in relation to Russia and in relation to the conflict in Ukraine."
However, the Russian president added that US leaders aren't driven by real concern over Ukraine's fate. He told journalists:
"No one is interested in Ukraine in the United States. They are interested in the greatness of the United States. They are not fighting for Ukraine; they are fighting for their leadership in the world. They do not want Russia to be successful, to prevail, because they think it will be damaging for the leadership of the United States. Only if the next administration in Washington abandons such a framework and instead seeks to strengthen the US will there be a chance for major policy changes. It all depends, in our view, on the moods that prevail in society."