US sees no chance of Ukraine peace before election – WSJ

Aprilia Rine

US sees no chance of Ukraine peace before election – WSJ
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Washington and its allies have reportedly ruled out a deal with Russia before American voters cast their ballots in November

Western leaders have reportedly dismissed the possibility of reaching a negotiated peace agreement to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict before US voters go to the polls later this year.

“Officials in Washington and European capitals are skeptical about the prospects of any peace talks with Russia and discount any possibility of a deal before the US presidential elections in November,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Kiev regime has insisted that Russian forces vacate all of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory, the outlet added, while US support could crumble if Donald Trump defeats incumbent President Joe Biden.

The political stakes are even higher than when the Ukraine crisis began two years ago because Western leaders have invested billions of dollars in Kiev’s defense while repeatedly vowing to continue their backing “as long as it takes,” the WSJ said. A Ukrainian defeat could shatter Washington’s geopolitical credibility, especially if Biden’s government fails to continue providing aid.

“The level of US investment in the project of Ukraine’s independence has increased, and therefore the extent to which US credibility is judged based on Russia’s ability to accomplish or not accomplish its objectives in Ukraine,” Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at Washington think tank RAND Corp., told the newspaper. “If there were to be a dramatic reversal of fortunes in Ukraine, there would be a whole lot more confidence in the emerging pseudo-bloc of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.”

Moscow has always been open to peace negotiations and would welcome any US efforts to end the Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin told American journalist Tucker Carlson in an interview earlier this month. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this week that neither Ukraine nor its Western backers are willing to end the bloodshed, leaving Moscow no choice but to continue fighting until its objectives are achieved. He suggested that the US election has little bearing on the issue because both Republicans and Democrats view Russia as an “adversary and a threat.”

EU opposes Ukraine truce – Borrell

US House Republicans have meanwhile declined to approve Biden’s request for $60 billion in additional Ukraine funding. Washington ran out of money for Ukraine aid last month, after exhausting $113 billion in previously approved spending. Biden blamed Trump’s congressional allies for last week’s fall of Avdeevka, a key Donbass stronghold for Kiev, to Russian forces.

“It’s not just that American aid has been cut, but it’s been cut without warning and without giving us any time to adjust,” former Ukrainian Defense Minister Sergey Zagorodnyuk told the WSJ. He added, “If this crisis is not resolved, and Ukraine doesn’t receive the assistance, it will become a huge gift to Putin.”

Washington’s European allies are so “spooked” by the potential loss of US protection that some German politicians have discussed seeking protection from nuclear-armed France and the UK, the report said. “It tells you about the level of doubt and fear about the world that we are entering – the one with the US not being there for us and where the hostile superpowers of Russia and China are potentially lining up against us,” said Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin.

READ MORE: No more ‘goodwill gestures’ – Moscow

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