- The US urged Ukraine to be open to talks with Russia-report
- Refusal to talk to Putin jeopardizes support for Ukraine-Washington Post
- State Dept says Russia is escalating war, not serious about talks
- A Russian retreat could mean giving up the city of Kherson
WASHINGTON/KYIV, Nov. 6 (Reuters) – The United States privately encouraged Ukraine to signal openness to negotiations with Russia, the Washington Post reported, as the State Department said Moscow was escalating the war and did not seriously want to engage in peace. lecture
The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying that the request by American officials was not aimed at pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table, but a calculated effort to ensure Kyiv maintains the support of other nations.
U.S. and Ukrainian officials acknowledged that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s ban on talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised concerns in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America, where the war’s effects on food and fuel costs are felt most severely, the Post said.
“Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners,” the U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.
Zelenskiy signed a decree on October 4 officially declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Putin “impossible” but leaving the door open to talks with Russia.
The White House National Security Council had no immediate comment on the report’s accuracy.
A State Department spokesman responded: “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Actions speak louder than words. If Russia is ready for negotiations, it must stop its bombs and missiles and withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
“The Kremlin continues to escalate this war. The Kremlin has shown its unwillingness to seriously engage in negotiations since even before it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
The spokesman also noted Zelenskiy’s speech on Friday, in which he said: “We are ready for peace, for a fair and just peace, a formula that we have said many times.”
In his nightly speech to the people of Ukraine on Friday, Zelenskiy added: “The world knows our position. This is respect for the UN Charter, respect for the integrity of our territory, respect for us.”
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said during a visit to Kyiv on Friday that Washington’s support for Ukraine would remain “firm and unwavering” after Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections.
The United States announced an additional $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including refurbishing T-72 tanks from the Czech Republic and HAWK air defense missiles that can be used against Russian drones and cruise missiles.
The new aid brings the total US military aid sent to Kyiv to more than $18.2 billion since the invasion.
In the latest sign of Russia’s retreat in one of the most bitterly contested areas in Ukraine, Putin publicly endorsed the evacuation of civilians from parts of southern Ukraine’s Kherson region on Friday.
This appears to be the first time Putin has personally endorsed the evacuation, although Moscow has already transported people out of the area it controls in Kherson on the west bank of the Dnipro River.
Last week Russia said the evacuation zone would also include a 15 km (10 mile) buffer zone on the east bank.
Kyiv says the measure includes the forced deportation of civilians, a war crime, which Russia denies.
Putin’s comments came amid signs Russia may be preparing to abandon its military foothold on the west bank of the Dnipro, including the city of Kherson.
The regional capital is the only major city captured by Russia since the invasion in February. The loss for the Russian forces would be one of the worst losses of the war.
Pictures have circulated on the internet showing the main administrative building in the city of Kherson with the Russian flag no longer flying above it. Kyiv has been alert, saying such signs could be a ploy by Russia to lure Ukrainian troops into a trap.
The heaviest fighting in the past week took place around Bakhmut and Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region about 500 km (300 miles) northeast of Kherson, Zelenskiy said late on Friday.
Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Written by Michael Perry; Edited by William Mallard
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