'They can unite' Putin looking to strengthen ally ties as he pushes into phase 2 of war

The statement comes as Turkey helped broker a deal with Russia to unblock exports of grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea. The agreement was signed in Istanbul on Friday by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN secretary general.

The world shortage of Ukrainian grain since Russia’s invasion has left millions at risk of hunger.

Mr Oleschuk said: “All non-democratic regimes in the world can potentially be Putin’s allies . We just have to accept it.

“They have much more in common with each other than they do with us. Therefore, yes, they can unite.

“The Russian leadership has already realised that it cannot conquer Ukraine by military means.

“Therefore, they are now actively promoting the idea that negotiations and agreements are needed.”

Meanwhile, Putin has suffered an “epic fail” in Ukraine and his army is “running out of steam”, according to the head of MI6.

Richard Moore, the chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), said the war was “obviously not over” but the Russian invaders may have to “pause” in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in the US, he said: “I think he has suffered a strategic failure in Ukraine. It is obviously not over.

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