Mystery of “secret negotiations” between Washington and Moscow

Mystery of “secret negotiations” between Washington and Moscow
Mystery of “secret negotiations” between Washington and Moscow

Mystery of “secret negotiations” between Washington and Moscow

Ukraine announces acquisition of western air defense systems… Russia denies reports of heavy casualties

Moscow: Raed Jabr, Washington: Heba Al-Qudsi, Kyiv: Asharq Al-Awsat

With fierce fighting continuing around Kherson and differing statements from the Russian and Ukrainian sides about the extent of Kiev’s progress in the region, Moscow on Monday tried to confirm its readiness to continue political negotiations with the Ukrainian side, maintaining the previous terms that had been agreed it had presented to succeed in them. But the Russian leadership at the same time refused to confirm the validity of Western reports of behind-closed-door rounds of dialogue between prominent officials in Russia and the United States.

Two days after Moscow announced the launch of a large-scale operation to evacuate civilians from large parts of the Kherson region with the aim of strengthening the defenses of the region, which was witnessing a strong attack by Ukraine, a discrepancy emerged between Russian and Ukrainian to reports on the extent of the Ukrainian advance. In return for statements by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirming the continuation of the counterattack, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that it had succeeded in repelling Kiev’s advance attempts. At the same time, the separatist authorities in the region recognized the expansion of the attack front to the strategic city, and the emergency services in the Kherson region on Monday announced a power outage in more than 10 residential communities as a result of what was described as a “terrorist act against the power line.”

A representative of the rescue service stated that “a terrorist attack aimed at the Pereslav-Kakhovka highway damaged three concrete supports of high-voltage power lines and deprived more than 10 residential communities in the area of ​​electricity supply. “

The Ukrainian army had stepped up its attacks on the Axes of Kherson and Novaya Kakhovka with rocket attacks to undermine the ability of the Russian military and the Separatist units loyal to them to use the Antonovsky Bridge, which connects the two banks of the Dnieper.

Last week, Ukrainian forces tried to attack the seaport used to evacuate civilians, but Moscow said air defense forces repelled the attack.

The commander of the Russian joint forces in the field of special operations, General Sergei Sorovikin, had warned of the possibility of a powerful missile attack on the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, describing the situation in the capital of the Kherson region as “very dangerous and difficult”.

Kherson authorities were moving civilians to the left bank of the Dnieper, according to pro-Moscow governor Vladimir Saldo, who announced plans to evacuate up to 70,000 people.
Mystery of “secret negotiations” between Washington and Moscow

The “NASAMS” missile system, the acquisition of which Kyiv announced on Monday (EPA)

In the same vein, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday in a summary of the results of the last day’s operations that its forces “eliminated more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers and foreign mercenaries while responding to enemy attacks on three main axes of combat,” she said , that “all Ukrainian attacks were successfully repelled and the enemy’s losses amounted to more than 110 dead on the Nikolaev-Krivoy Rog (Kherson) axis and up to 100 soldiers on the Kobyansk axis (north of Lugansk), in addition to about 120 dead and 130 Wounded on the Krasny axis Lyman (Northern Donetsk)».

The statement said that in the last day 7 command points and 72 artillery units in firing positions, armed forces and military equipment in 186 regions were hit, in addition to the destruction of two radar stations for the Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and a self-propelled launcher of the Buk missile system . Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense.

On the other hand, Ukraine announced on Monday that it had received new air defense systems from western countries. “The (NASAMS) and (Speed) air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on Twitter, thanking “our partners in Norway, Spain and the United States.”

And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken previously announced that Washington is working to deliver two “NASAMS” air defense systems to Ukraine this month.

Russian military analysts warned that Washington’s handing over of these systems to Kyiv “means direct NATO involvement in the confrontation with Russia in Ukraine; It cannot be used without the help of western satellites.”

In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry has denied the validity of data circulated by a number of Russian bloggers, who said that Russian forces suffered “heavy casualties” in the recent attacks on the Donetsk region. The ministry said in a statement that the data on the soldiers of the 155th Brigade of the Russian Marines who suffered “heavy and unjustified losses in people and equipment” are unfounded.

The ministry said that units of the 155th brigade “have been conducting effective offensive operations against the Ukrainian army and foreign mercenaries towards the town of Aglidar over the past 10 days,” adding that the brigade has made progress in its area of ​​responsibility to a depth of 5 kilometers in the Ukrainian defensive positions.

Secret negotiations…

Politically, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to news published by foreign media about “secret negotiations taking place between US Presidential National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and senior Russian officials,” saying that “Western media are publishing a lot of fake news “.

“We have nothing to say about these releases,” Peskov explained. There are many lies spread by the Anglo-Saxon newspapers. So in that case, the information should be requested from the newspaper or the White House.”

At the same time, the spokesman for the Russian president said his country “is still open to negotiations with Ukraine, but so far there is no way to continue these negotiations”. And he added during a press conference on Monday: “We have repeatedly said that the Russian side remains open to achieving its goals in the negotiations, but we have also more than once made everyone aware that we do not see them doing so at the moment such a possibility; Since this file was closed by Kyiv and laws were passed confirming the discontinuation of any negotiations with the Russian side.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had made behind-the-scenes contacts with senior Russian officials to reduce the likelihood of a major conflict over Ukraine and to once again warn Russia of the dangers of using nuclear weapons Weapons.

According to the newspaper, Sullivan has been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy assistant, and Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council, with the aim of “reducing the risks of escalation and keeping the channels of communication open”. not to discuss a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict. Officials indicated that the United States’ intention is to avoid an escalation of the war in Ukraine while Russia works to deploy some of its nuclear arsenal, and that these talks come amid fears that President Putin is planning to deploy more tactical Nuclear weapons weapons in Ukraine after a series of military setbacks and advances Ukrainian forces retaking some areas controlled by Russian forces.

The report on the talks between Sullivan, Ushakov and Patrushev came a day after the Washington Post reported that the Biden administration was encouraging Kyiv in particular to signal its willingness to negotiate with the Russians over an end to the war. The newspaper said the goal is not to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table, but to help it retain the support of other governments.

Government officials, in public statements to reporters, emphasize the position “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” and that no decisions affecting its security and future will be made without its involvement and support. The Wall Street Journal noted that Sullivan “not only played a leading role in coordinating Washington’s policy on the Ukraine conflict, but also participated in diplomatic efforts, visiting Kyiv last week to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “.

According to the newspaper, the National Security Advisor “urged the Ukrainian leadership to show publicly that it is ready to resolve the conflict… Washington does not insist that Kyiv return to the negotiating table, but wants it to show the world that it is ready.” so is trying to end hostilities.”

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy ruled out negotiations after Russia held an illegal referendum on the annexation of four Ukrainian regions last September. “He may be negotiating with a new Russian president, not with Vladimir Putin,” he said.

Intense discussions are taking place in the White House on how to proceed in dealing with the Ukraine crisis after more than eight months of military fighting; Where Sullivan insisted on keeping the line of communication with Russia open, unlike other senior White House officials who think communications with Moscow “will not be fruitful at this point.” Over the past month, senior military figures such as General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been in contact with Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, while Defense Secretary General Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have spoken by phone twice in three days, according to Moscow had claimed that Ukraine “planned, with the help of the United States, to detonate a dirty bomb and blame the Russian armed forces”. The United States denied the allegations, warning that it “could be an excuse for Russia to carry out such a provocation itself.”

Diplomatic relations are generally strained in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the last contact between President Joe Biden and Putin was last February, during which he warned against “pursuing plans for the invasion.”

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