U.S. Sees Little Prospect for Ukraine Talks With Putin After Biden Offer & More Trending News


WASHINGTON — A day after President Biden mentioned he could be keen to speak with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a couple of attainable peace settlement in Ukraine, the Kremlin provided a frosty response, and prospects for settling the brutal battle remained as distant as ever.

Mr. Biden mentioned on Thursday that he would maintain his first dialog with Mr. Putin since earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 if the Russian chief was “looking for a way to end the war.” But U.S. officers mentioned that Russia, as they’ve beforehand assessed, was not ready to barter in good religion, and Russian officers repeated hard-line calls for which might be unacceptable to Kyiv.

Although Mr. Biden’s comment was taken by some as a brand new emphasis on transferring towards peace talks with Russia, John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, informed reporters that Mr. Biden’s place had not modified.

“The president has been very consistent about that,” Mr. Kirby mentioned. “He’s got no intentions to talk to Mr. Putin right now. As he also said, Putin has shown absolutely no inclination to be interested in dialogue of any kind. In fact, quite the contrary. Everything he’s doing shows that Mr. Putin is interested in continuing this illegal, unprovoked war.”

In Moscow, Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, mentioned at a information convention on Friday that Mr. Putin remained “open to contacts and negotiations” and that diplomacy was the “preferable way” to attain Russia’s objectives.

But Mr. Peskov famous that the United States “still does not recognize new territories as part of Russia,” an obvious reference to japanese Ukrainian areas that Mr. Putin claimed to annex after sham referendums in September, saying that “this makes more complicated the search for common ground for mutual discussions.”

In reality, the Russian place primarily guidelines out severe negotiations with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who mentioned in a mid-November interview with Bloomberg News that the warfare couldn’t finish till Ukraine had reclaimed all its territory from Russia, together with the purportedly annexed areas in addition to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

“The Russians have made it very clear that, of course, they are not in the mood for constructive dialogue and for constructive diplomacy,” the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, mentioned at a press briefing. Any dialog between Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin “is nothing more than a hypothetical at this time,” he added.

“We have been very clear that the United States and countries around the world will never — never, never, never — recognize territory that Russia has illegally annexed, either in 2014 or more recently, as part of its illegal and now brutal aggression against Ukraine,” Mr. Price added.

Mr. Biden’s remark — made throughout a information convention with the visiting President Emmanuel Macron of France, who has spoken to Mr. Putin a number of instances over the previous 12 months, together with in late August — follows some indicators that senior U.S. officers have contemplated whether or not Ukraine’s latest profitable offensives current a window for negotiations. Last month, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark A. Milley, informed reporters that Ukraine’s place of “strength” creates “a possibility” for a political resolution.

But Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who served as NATO secretary common from 2009 to 2014, mentioned this week throughout a go to to Washington that he had spoken with Biden administration officers and noticed no signal that they had been pressuring Ukraine’s authorities to start negotiating with Russia.

“It was an idea that was just floated, but it has been immediately shut down,” Mr. Rasmussen mentioned. “It would really weaken the Western front if we tried to push Zelensky into premature peace negotiations, because that would be a trap.”

“Putin is not sincere when it comes to peace negotiations,” Mr. Rasmussen added.

Ukrainian officers have mentioned the identical, warning that Russia may attempt to pause the combating for talks — however solely to make use of that point to arrange for new army offensives.

Mr. Macron reaffirmed France’s help for Ukraine and nodded to the truth {that a} Ukrainian inhabitants enraged by Russia’s occupation is in no temper to compromise. France “will never urge Ukrainians to make a compromise that will not be acceptable for them,” he mentioned.

On Friday, Italy’s international minister, Antonio Tajani, mentioned that Russian assaults on civilian infrastructure targets like energy grids had been “making any kind of dialogue impossible.”

“We all want peace, but it must come through Kyiv’s independence, not through its surrender,” Mr. Tajani mentioned. “The responsibility for this situation is only Russian. Now the Kremlin must give concrete signals instead of bombing the population.”

White House officers mentioned they weren’t stunned by Russia’s response to Mr. Biden’s feedback. Few on the president’s nationwide safety group anticipated something completely different from Mr. Putin, given Russia’s habits previously a number of weeks, which has included strikes on infrastructure targets which have disadvantaged main cities together with Kyiv of warmth, gentle and operating water.

“This brutalization of Ukraine’s people is barbaric,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned at a NATO assembly in Romania on Wednesday.

Mr. Biden’s comment about talking to Mr. Putin was not meant, the officers mentioned, to sign a shift in coverage or to point that the president was drifting from his dedication to making sure that Ukraine’s management determined when and how one can negotiate an finish to the warfare.

Aides say the president continues to imagine that negotiations will likely be vital. But additionally they say he doesn’t imagine that direct talks with Mr. Putin will likely be attainable until the “facts on the ground” change.

In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Biden was cautious to point out deference to Ukraine and the NATO allies, saying he would discuss to Mr. Putin solely after consulting with them first.

In half, the message was meant to be a present of help for diplomacy by his counterparts. Mr. Macron has pressured the significance of sustaining dialogue with the Russian chief, if solely to keep away from harmful escalation or miscalculation. He referred to as Mr. Putin in August and is anticipated to satisfy with him in a number of days. Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, spoke to the Russian president on Friday morning.

A Kremlin readout of the decision with Mr. Scholz blamed the West for the absence of talks, saying that the Western strategy of “pumping the Kyiv regime with weapons” and offering it with monetary and political help “leads Kyiv to reject any idea of negotiations.”

But there are different audiences to think about as nicely. Some leaders are anxious concerning the financial impacts of a warfare that has pushed up meals and power costs worldwide. And within the United States, some Republican and progressive Democratic lawmakers have expressed frustration that the Biden administration, which has supplied almost $20 billion in army support to Kyiv because the Russian invasion, seems to be writing “blank checks” with out describing an finish sport for the battle.

White House officers mentioned the president’s remark about being keen to satisfy with Mr. Putin underneath sure circumstances was in a roundabout way aimed toward these teams. But the comment nonetheless alerts that the Biden administration has not foreclosed the opportunity of diplomacy, though Mr. Biden has not spoken to Mr. Putin since mid-February.

Mr. Blinken has spoken to his counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, solely as soon as since mid-January, to debate the potential launch of two Americans imprisoned in Russia, Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. Mr. Biden additionally mentioned in October that he could be keen to speak with Mr. Putin about releasing the 2 Americans.

Speaking a day earlier than Mr. Biden’s feedback, Mr. Rasmussen, the previous NATO chief, mentioned he didn’t imagine that Ukraine would settle for a peace deal that allowed Russia to occupy any a part of its territory.

“I can conclude quite confidently that as long as you will see Russian troops on Ukrainian soil, you will have a conflict,” he mentioned. “The only off-ramp for Putin is, get out of Ukraine.”

Elisabetta Povoledo contributed reporting.

U.S. Sees Little Prospect for Ukraine Talks With Putin After Biden Offer

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