The progressive current of democrats asked the American president to increase diplomatic efforts to find a quick solution to the Ukrainian conflict. The executive has made it known that it will not do anything without kyiv’s consent.
Representatives from the left wing of the US Democratic Party asked, in an October 24 letter to President Joe Biden, who has released nearly $ 30 billion in military aid to Ukraine in the face of the Russian offensive, to step up diplomatic efforts and engage in direct talks with Moscow in order to reach a solution to the conflict, which began eight months ago. This is the first time that such a call has come from the president’s own party. Among the signatories are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal, figures of the most progressive fringe of the party.
“A new European security agreement acceptable to all parties”
“We call on you to complement the economic and military support that the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic impulse, and to redouble your efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire,” write elected officials in their missive, clearly positioning themselves against Russian intervention, which they denounce as an “illegal and scandalous invasion” of Ukraine.
“As lawmakers responsible for how tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars are spent in military assistance in the conflict, we believe that such involvement in this war also creates a responsibility for the United States to seriously explore all possible ways”, they continue.
Worried to see the conflict degenerate and to see it take the path of a “catastrophic escalation”, they also evoke the global consequences of the confrontation between kyiv and Moscow, whether it is a question of the food crisis or the explosion in energy prices. “The conflict threatens […] tens of millions of people around the world,” they warn.
Therefore, the elected Democrats called on Joe Biden to “deploy vigorous diplomatic efforts in support of a negotiated settlement and a ceasefire, to engage in direct talks with Russia [et] to explore the prospects for a new European security agreement acceptable to all parties”.
Washington wants kyiv to participate in any possible negotiations from a position of strength
Asked about the mail, State Department spokesman Ned Price said “no one wants to see this war end more than our Ukrainian counterparts do,” while blaming Moscow for the start of talks. “We don’t know when this will happen. […], because we have not seen any indication from the Russians that they are ready to engage in this diplomacy and this dialogue,” he added. “We are providing our Ukrainian partners with what they need on the battlefield so that when a negotiating table emerges, they are in the strongest possible position,” he said.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre was straight to the point, indicating that the executive had been “very clear” and was sticking to its motto “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine”. A point confirmed by the spokesman of the National Security Council, John Kirby, according to whom the Ukrainians will have to be part of any future negotiation. “We are not going to have discussions with the Russian leaders without the Ukrainians being represented”, he justified. According to the spokesperson, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “has the right to determine – because it is his country – what success looks like and when to negotiate”.
The wish to respect kyiv’s wishes is not disputed by the authors of the letter, but the latter invite Joe Biden to take a step back from his strategy and to consider all the repercussions of the conflict. They recall, moreover, that the Ukrainian president himself had affirmed on several occasions that only diplomatic means would make it possible to resolve the crisis, before hardening his positions during the summer and signing a decree at the beginning of October formalizing the impossibility of holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The latter had reaffirmed, in mid-October, that Russia had opened the door to discussions, but that kyiv had lost all “desire to negotiate”.
Since the start of the conflict, the administration of Joe Biden has poured, according to the Kiel Institute, $50 billion in military, humanitarian and financial aid into Ukraine, with the agreement of both parties in Congress, although one part Republicans’ right-wing aide also protested. An influential Republican elected official recently warned that his party would not sign a “blank check” to Ukraine if it wins, as polls predict, the majority of House of Representatives seats in the midterm elections, scheduled for November 8.
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