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Bild: US, Germany quietly seek to prod Ukraine to negotiate

by Martin Fornusek November 24, 2023 6:23 PM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. (Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The U.S. and Germany allegedly hope to nudge Ukraine to negotiate with Russia through a carefully targeted scope of arms deliveries, the German tabloid Bild reported on Nov. 24, citing an anonymous government source.

U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reportedly do not plan to directly pressure Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to the negotiation table, Bild said.

Kyiv's two leading military donors instead plan to provide the exact quantity and quality of arms to ensure that Ukraine can hold the front and have a strong negotiating position, but not enough to fully liberate its territory, according to the news outlet.

"Zelensky should realize that things cannot go on like this. Without any external request," the source told Bild.

"He should address the nation of his own free will and explain that negotiations must be launched."

In case Kyiv and Moscow do not agree to open talks, Berlin and Washington hope that the front line solidifies, resulting in a frozen conflict without any formal agreements.

"It's like Minsk, only without Minsk," the source told Bild, referring to the 2014-2015 Minsk agreements that sought to end the Donbas war but instead resulted in a static war in Ukraine's east.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the report.

As the stability of the pro-Kyiv alliance faces growing challenges, media reports emerged earlier claiming that the West plans to push Ukraine into negotiations with Russia, even at the cost of concessions.

Western officials denied these reports, insisting that any peace talks with Moscow are up to Ukraine's decision.

"We are not aware of any conversations with Ukraine about negotiations outside of the peace formula structure," U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said.

Zelensky also denied that he would be under pressure from allies to enter peace talks.

"No one among our partners is pressuring us to sit down with Russia, talk to it, and give it something," the president said earlier in November.

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