Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can decide if and when to negotiate with Russia, White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said during a press briefing on April 6.
“President Zelensky can determine if and when he’s ready to negotiate and in what context and over what,” Kirby said in response to a question about a Financial Times article that cited Andrii Sybiha, deputy head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, as saying that Ukraine may be willing to negotiate on Crimea.
“We believe that nothing should be negotiated about Ukraine without Ukraine. Nothing should be done or said or moved on without President Zelensky’s full approval. That’s where we are.” Kirby added.
In an interview with the Financial Times published on April 5 Sybiha said that Kyiv may negotiate with Russia on Crimea if Ukraine is successful in its much-anticipated spring counteroffensive.
“If we succeed in achieving our strategic goals on the battlefield and when we are on the administrative border with Crimea, we are ready to open (a) diplomatic page to discuss this issue,” he said, as quoted by the Financial Times.
The official said, however, that Ukraine does not exclude the possibility of liberating Crimea through military means.