U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan holds a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 17, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis.
New White House Reports Suggest Diplomacy isn’t a Four-Letter Word After All

After denying for months that it would encourage Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, the Biden administration has begun pushing Kyiv to publicly signal that it’s open to talks, according to the Washington Post.

The goal of the effort, according to the Post’s sources, is to assuage growing fears in the West that Ukraine has abandoned any hope for negotiations with Russia, opting instead for a “total victory” strategy that some worry could drag on for years. Those concerns have increased in recent months as the war has helped push inflation in the United States and created the possibility of a gas shortage in Europe during the winter, leading to a drop in support for 

The sources denied that the administration’s intent is to get Kyiv to start talking with Moscow in the short term.

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has held several secret meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top foreign policy aides in recent months, according to the Wall Street Journal. These behind-the-scenes conversations have been aimed at reducing the chance of dangerous escalation in Ukraine and have not included talk of diplomacy to end the conflict, according to the Journal’s sources.

Read the full piece in Responsible Statecraft.

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