| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

U.S. encourages Ukraine to be open to talks with Russia, Washington Post reports

The Washington Post stated that the United States is secretly pressuring Ukraine to indicate that it is willing to speak with Russia, even while the State Department said that Moscow was intensifying the conflict and did not genuinely want to have peace negotiations.

The appeal by American officials, according to the newspaper’s unnamed sources, was not intended to force Ukraine to the bargaining table but rather was a deliberate move to guarantee Kyiv retains the support of other countries.

In regions of Europe, Africa, and Latin America, where the war’s effects on food and fuel costs are felt most severely, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s restriction on negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin has caused anxiety, U.S. and Ukrainian officials acknowledged, according to the Post.

For some of our partners, “Ukraine fatigue” is a real thing, the report cited an anonymous U.S. official as saying.

On October 4, Zelenskiy officially declared the possibility of any discussions between Ukraine and Putin to be “impossible,” but he left the door open for negotiations with Russia.

Regarding the report’s veracity, the White House National Security Council was unable to comment right away.

A State Department spokesperson responded: “We’ve said it before and will say it again: Actions speak louder than words. If Russia is ready for negotiation, it should stop its bombs and missiles and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

“The Kremlin continues to escalate this war. The Kremlin has demonstrated its unwillingness to seriously engage in negotiations since even before it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

The spokesperson also noted remarks by Zelenskiy on Friday, in which he said: “We are ready for peace, for a fair and just peace, the formula of which we have voiced many times.”

On Sunday Zelenskiy said on Twitter he had spoken to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about macro-financial aid for Ukraine and further sanctions on Iran.

“Noted the importance of continuing the grain initiative for world food security. Discussed increasing sanctions & opposing actions of Iran, which supports aggression,” Zelenskiy wrote.

After Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections, according to Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security advisor, Washington’s support for Ukraine will continue to be “unwavering and unyielding.”

In addition to upgrading T-72 tanks from the Czech Republic and providing missiles for HAWK air defenses that might be deployed against Russian drones and cruise missiles, the United States pledged $400 million in further security aid for Ukraine.

Since the invasion, the United States has contributed more than $18.2 billion in military assistance to Kiev.

  • Reuters