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Media: Ukraine concerned about Americans' alleged back-channel diplomacy with Russia

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 8, 2023 8:07 PM 1 min read
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Ukraine is worried about alleged secret talks between former U.S. officials and Kremlin-linked Russians concerning Ukraine's NATO membership, NBC News reported on July 8, citing an unnamed Ukrainian official.

“Given the timing of the appearance of these materials in the mass media on the eve of the Vilnius summit, the question arises whether Washington’s tough position regarding the invitation of Ukraine to NATO is somehow not connected with these backroom consultations,” the official said in a statement on behalf of the Ukrainian government.    

NBC News reported on July 6 that former U.S. national security officials spoke with Russians, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in New York in April to discuss the war, including the fate of Russian-occupied territories, in case Ukraine cannot liberate them with military strength.

The officials included former diplomat Richard Haass, Europe expert Charles Kupchan and Russia expert Thomas Graham, the latter two having formerly served in the White House and the State Department.

NATO members will meet in Vilnius on July 11 to discuss the status of Ukraine's possible membership, as well as the alliance's support for the embattled country.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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