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US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has confirmed that communication channels between the US and Russia remain open despite the war in Ukraine, reports the BBC.

Sullivan, speaking in New York on Nov. 7, said it was “in Washington’s interest” to maintain contact with the Kremlin.

Sullivan’s comments came after a Nov. 6 Wall Street Journal report that he had held undisclosed talks with senior Russian officials in hopes of reducing the risk that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would escalate or does not escalate into a nuclear conflict.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the latest developments on the ongoing invasion of Russia, the Kyiv counter-offensive, Western military aid, the global response and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

A previous media report, in the Washington Post, said Washington was privately encouraging Ukraine to signal an openness to negotiate with Russia, as the State Department said Moscow was stepping up the war and not seriously wanting to s engage in peace talks.

The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, said the US officials’ request was not intended to push Ukraine to the negotiating table, but a calculated attempt to ensure Kyiv retains the support of other countries.

Mykhailo Podolyak, senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, told RFE/RL that it was absurd to suggest that Western countries supplying Ukraine with arms would push Kyiv to negotiate on Moscow’s terms.

“Ukraine receives from its partners, primarily from the United States, quite effective weapons,” he said. “We are pushing the Russian army out of the territory. And in this context, forcing us into the negotiation process, and in fact recognizing the ultimatum of the Russian Federation, is nonsense! And no one will do that.”

He said suggestions the West was pushing Ukraine to negotiate were part of Russia’s “information agenda”, although he did not directly refute a Washington Post report.

Zelenskiy said in his November 7 speech that he was open to talks with Russia, but only to ‘real’ negotiations that would restore Ukraine’s borders, compensate it for Russian attacks and punish those responsible. of war crimes.

Zelenskiy signed a decree on October 4 formally declaring “impossible” any prospect of talks between Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but leaving the door open for talks with Russia.

Sullivan said at a public event in New York that the Biden administration has “an obligation to pursue accountability” and pledged to work with international partners to “hold the perpetrators of grave and grotesque war crimes in Ukraine responsible for what they have done”.

Sullivan did not give details of the communication channels maintained by Washington and Moscow, but insisted that US officials had “clear eyes on the people we were dealing with”. BBC reported.

Sullivan visited Kyiv on Nov. 4 and pledged Washington’s “unwavering and unwavering” support for Ukraine.

His unannounced visit coincided with the announcement the same day by the US Department of Defense of another arms shipment to Ukraine worth $400 million.

“I was just in Kyiv on Friday and had the opportunity to meet the President [Volodymyr] Zelenskiy and my counterpart Andriy Yermak, with the military leadership and also to get a briefing on the level of death and devastation caused by Putin’s war against this country,” Sullivan was quoted as saying by the BBC on November 7.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on US media reports.

“I’ve seen these reports. So, you know – and, listen, people claim a lot of things about the conversations that we – that the United States has or doesn’t have,” Jean-Pierre said during an interview. a press briefing on 7 November. “I don’t have any specific conversations to read to you.”

Ukrainian Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on November 8 that the “main condition” for resuming negotiations with Russia would be the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Danilov said on Twitter that Ukraine also needed the “guarantee” of modern air defenses, aircraft, tanks and long-range missiles.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, Sullivan had confidential conversations in recent months with Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev that have not been publicly disclosed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on November 7 that while Russia remained “open” to talks, it was unable to negotiate with Kyiv because of its refusal to hold talks with the Russia.

With information from Reuters



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