Only Zelenskyy decides to start negotiations with Russia
The White House on Friday confirmed that only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy could agree to opening talks with Russia, dismissing the idea of US pressure on Kyiv.
“We all agree that unless (Russian President Vladimir) Putin decides to withdraw his forces from Ukraine, a negotiated diplomatic solution is the best possible solution,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“We also said that it is up to President Zelenskyy to say if and when he will be (ready) for negotiations and what form these negotiations will take; no one in the United States is questioning him or insisting or urging him to negotiate at the table,” he added.
The negotiations are becoming increasingly important given the massive Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
Kirby was asked about comments made by US Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, who twice recently said there was a possibility of talks to find a political solution to the conflict. “The Russians are in a really bad position, so you should negotiate when you are in a strong position and your opponent is in a weak position,” Al-Khamees said.
US media recently reported that some senior officials have begun encouraging Ukraine to consider negotiations, which Zelenskyy has so far refused to do.
During Tuesday’s G20 summit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine’s terms were “unrealistic” to start talks to end the war.
Ukraine is demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, while Moscow announced in late September the annexation of four Ukrainian regions as well as the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014.
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