War in Ukraine: US National Security Advisor admits talks with Russia
Jake Sullivan, the White House National Security Advisor, confirmed that despite the war in Ukraine, lines of communication between Washington and Moscow remain.
Sullivan said in New York that it was “in the interests of the United States” to maintain contact with the Kremlin.
But he insisted US officials “understand very well who they are dealing with.”
The comments came after the White House refused to deny reports that Sullivan was in talks with Russia to prevent a nuclear escalation in Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Sullivan had been in talks in recent months with his counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, chairman of Russia’s National Security Council, and the Kremlin’s top foreign policy adviser, Yuri Yushakov.
Several senior officials told the newspaper that both sides were discussing ways to avoid a nuclear escalation during the war in Ukraine, but had not started negotiations to end the conflict.
The US National Security Adviser said last month that any use of nuclear weapons would have “catastrophic consequences for Russia”. He added during his statements to NBC that senior officials “clarified the scope of the possible US response” during private talks between officials from the United States and Russia.
US National Security Council spokesman Adrian Watson refused to confirm the reports, saying “people are claiming a lot of things,” while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Western newspapers of “spreading a lot of deception.”
But White House Press Office director Karen-Jean-Pierre said last Monday that the United States reserves the right to hold talks with Russia.
Sullivan also stressed – who will be US President Joe Biden’s most important adviser and continues to push for talks with Russia – that maintaining contact with Moscow is “in the interest of all countries affected by this conflict”.
Last week, the American newspaper The Washington Post published a report alleging that US officials are attempting to persuade Ukraine to negotiate with Russia and are reversing their stated refusal to open negotiations with Moscow as long as Vladimir Putin is on the The top remains the pyramid of power.
But Sullivan, while attending a public event in New York, declared that the Biden administration has an obligation “to hold accountable” and vowed that Washington will continue to work with its international partners to “make the perpetrators more serious and heinous.” to hold war crimes accountable for what they did.”
“I was in Kyiv last Friday and met President Zelenskyy, my counterpart Andrei Yermak and the military leaders. I also received an update on the death and devastation caused by Putin’s war in this country,” the US National Security Advisor said.
Fears have been raised in recent months that Russia will resort to nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to defend the four Ukrainian regions to the east and south of the unilaterally annexed country.
Meanwhile, Ukraine invoked wartime martial law to seize assets from five strategic companies.
It is likely that some of these companies, including two operating in the energy sector, one making engines, another making cars, while the fifth is in manufacturing, are linked to arrested Ukrainian billionaire Vyacheslav Bogoslav by the Ukrainian authorities on suspicion of collaboration with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the move was made to help the defense sector meet the needs of the army, which is currently conducting counterattacks in southern and eastern Ukraine.
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