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US officials have reportedly warned the Ukrainian government in private that it needs to signal an openness to negotiating with Russia
Officials in Washington have warned that “Ukraine fatigue” among allies could worsen if Kyiv continues to be closed to negotiations, the Washington Post reported
. US officials told the paper that Ukraine’s position on negotiations with Russia is wearing thin among allies who are worried about the economic effects of a protracted war.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy
, has said Ukraine is only prepared to enter negotiations with Russia if its troops leave all parts of Ukraine, including Crimea and the eastern areas of the Donbas, de facto controlled by Russia since 2014, and if those Russians who have committed crimes in Ukraine face trial.
Zelenskiy also made clear that he would not hold negotiations with the current Russian leadership. Last month, he signed a decree specifying that Ukraine
would only negotiate with a Russian president who has succeeded Vladimir Putin.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits the town of Izium, which was recently liberated during a counteroffensive operation.Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters
The US has so far given Ukraine $18.9bn (£16.6bn) worth of aid and is ready to give more, saying it will support Ukraine for as long as it takes. However, allies in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America, US officials told the Post, are concerned by the strain that the war is putting on energy and food prices as well as supply chains.
“Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners,” one US official said.
US officials have requested that Kyiv signal its openness to negotiate not to push Ukraine towards the negotiating table immediately, but to maintain the support of concerned allies, according to the Post.
For Ukrainian officials, the US’s request would mean reneging on several months of rhetoric about the need for a decisive military defeat against Russia in order to secure Ukraine’s security in the long term – a message that strongly resonates with the Ukrainian population who fear Russia will only try again to capture the country in the future.
The atrocities, deaths and destruction caused by Russia’s invasion have made negotiations unpalatable to many Ukrainians, particularly as the mood in Ukraine is buoyant after a string of successes on the battlefield in the north-east Kharkiv and southern Kherson regions.
Despite the strong rhetoric, losing allied support could have repercussions for Ukraine, particularly in terms of sanctions. The veteran diplomat Alexander Vershbow told the Post that “if the conditions become more propitious for negotiations, I don’t think the [US] administration is going to be passive”.
Russian officials have said Kyiv is preparing to attempt a second offensive to retake more of the occupied Kherson region. Recapturing it, regardless of being woefully out of reach of Ukrainian Armed Forces, would have immense symbolic and logistical value for Ukraine as Russia wants the area to secure a water supply to Crimea as well as a land bridge to Russia. In a statement on Telegram, the Russian-controlled Kherson administration said electricity and water supplies were down after a “terrorist attack” damaged three power lines in the occupied part of the region.
Da li Ukrajina gubi podršku Zapada? Javljaju se prvi znaci zamora Ukrajinom, jedino pitanje je tajming - da li se Vašington, London i Brisel pribojavaju dolazeće zime i nezadovoljstva birača kod kuće - uglavnom zbog osetnih posledica ekonomskog rata potiv Rusije, ili možda ne žele da se Ukrajina i dalje napreže, iz straha od njenog vojničkog poraza? Jasno je da bi sve što ne bi moglo da se na Zapadu predstavi kao ukrajinska pobeda izazvalo veliki pad prestiža Amerike u očima prosečnog Evropljanina, ali bi sve što ne bi bio ograničeni poraz Ukrajine značilo i pad ugleda i uticaja Sjedinjenih Država na svetskoj sceni. Ne treba sumnjati da će se Pax Americana vrlo brzo naći na puno ozbiljnijim iskušenjima, naime, Kina je skoro dostigla Ameriku ekonomski, i više nije spremna da toleriše svoju odmetnutu provinciju Tajvan kao nepotopivi američki nosač aviona uz svoju obalu.