Biden Admin Dave DeCamp Military nato Russia-Ukraine

White House Says US Won’t Push Ukraine to Negotiate with Russia

The US hasn't shown any interest in pursuing negotiations to end the war.
Silar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons,

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, said Sunday that the US will not push Ukraine to reach a negotiated settlement with Russia even if the Biden administration thinks it’s the right thing to do.

Kirby, who recently joined the NSC after serving as the Pentagon’s spokesman, said that the US will continue to support Ukraine in its war and that it’s up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if and when to pursue negotiations with Moscow.

“[Zelensky] gets to determine how victory is decided and when and on what terms. And [what] we’re going to do is continue to make sure that can succeed on the battlefield so that he can succeed at the table. But even President Zelensky will tell you that the time is not now for those discussions,” Kirby said in an interview with Fox News.

Kirby’s comments came after CNN reported that White House officials privately doubt that Ukraine can retake all the territory Russia has captured since it invaded on February 24. Zelensky has maintained that his goal is to drive Russia out of those areas, but the report said US officials are debating if they should push Zelensky to change his goals as Russia continues to make gains in the east.

While Kirby said it’s up to Zelensky whether or not Ukraine will negotiate, the West had pressed him to stop talking to Russia earlier in the war. According to a report from Ukrainska Pravda citing sources close to Zelensky, Johnson told the Ukrainian leader during his visit to Kyiv on April 1 that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be pressured, not negotiated with.

The report said that Johnson told Zelensky that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin,” Kyiv’s NATO backers are not ready. The report said Johnson’s position was that of the “collective West,” which felt at the time that Putin was not as strong as they initially thought and saw the war as an opportunity to “press him.”

The exact details of the Ukrainska Pravda report haven’t been confirmed, but Johnson later told French President Emmanuel Macron that he “urged” the Ukrainians not to negotiate with Russia. Earlier peace talks between the warring sides that, according to Russia, showed some promise have since stalled.

The Biden administration has shown no interest in pushing for peace talks to end the fighting and has continued to dump billions of dollars worth of weapons into the war zone. The administration has also abandoned diplomacy with Moscow altogether. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasn’t spoken with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, since February 15.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

19 comments

  1. You’ve got to be joking! Biden suddenly thinks a ‘negotiated settlement is the right thing to do’! Might have been a good idea a while ago. And, he’s the boss of Blinken, isn’t he? If not, who is? Is Blinken an emperor, like the Supreme Court?

    Wow! Now that the Russians have achieved their objective (the Donbass) with a much smaller and easier to defend border, why do they have to ‘negotiate’? I suppose there ought to be a ‘formal end’, however we all know, “white man speak with forked tongue’, so anything the US pawn Zelensky might agree to will be ignored a year later.

    Our country is so blatantly dishonest and disruptive that I wonder how anyone can stomach it. I often feel the need to throw up, and I live here.

  2. It doesn’t matter if Ukraine does or does not negotiate some terms with respect to the land war in Ukraine. The much bigger issue is the global economic war (sanctions, embargos, confiscations, etc.) the West, led by the US, have initiated against Russia.

    Ukraine is at best a minor player in this economic conflict, and is in no position to negotiate anything. And the US, despite the fact that it, and more especially the EU, are suffering / will suffer further significant damage have shown no willingness to compromise or de-escalate.

    The West is losing this economic war, their governments are simply whistling past the graveyard, and the mainstream media are playing their role of ignoring the issue, and distracting the general population from noticing what is unfolding in real time. Interesting times, indeed.

  3. How many of these milquetoast pieces of nothing reporting (sic) will this digital dungeon continue to propogate? It’s embarassing how convoluted these little blurbs are, and the inverted J-School news heuristic, what a foolish thing to attempt given the disgusting circumstances of this Love and Death in a Time of Full-Throttle Propaganda!

    This quote by the perversion, Kirby, well, why not get some person of gravitas to comment on the absolute saturation of lies. So, billions in weapons, billions in USA and Nato flyover satellite and digital warfare, billions for this corrupt ZioLensky and his Nazi Mentality, billions and billions, and the concerted PsyOp of lies lies lies about how well (sic) UkoNazi’s are doing in their racist reaction to a special military operation (so many of us want the Mister Z of Russian fame to hit all those palaces of putridity in Kiev, including the war criminals at the top, to include Coke – Ain Zelensky? All of that fed to ZioLensky, that is not dictating the terms of this “war”?

    Look deeply at this statement by that human stain, Kirby. It is as empty and full of fluff and lies as anything coming out of the Press, including the left-leaning (leaning left only because those faux lefties are drunk on their bacon mash IPA’s).

    “[Zelensky] gets to determine how victory is decided and when and on what terms. And [what] we’re going to do is continue to make sure that can succeed on the battlefield so that he can succeed at the table. But even President Zelensky will tell you that the time is not now for those discussions,” Kirby said in an interview with Fox News.

    1. I not only agree with the substance of your comment, I love the poetic tone.

  4. Since the US was the one to provoke this conflict, is the one running it’s military campaign, supplying Ukraine with billions upon billions of military equipment, is supplying Ukraine with military intelligence, and is trying to destroy the Russian state, I would find it incredibly strange if they WERE pushing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia.

    The only thing the US isn’t doing. is sending their own soldiers to die in the Ukraine. Since the Ukrainians are getting wasted in droves and their blood is spilling in rivers and the elite of their military are either dead or a prisoner….this is a problem. You can send the all the crap you want but if there is no one to use them, it’s kind of pointless.

    Washington intends to destroy the Russian state, but they are so incompetent, arrogant and ignorant that all they do is bring themselves ever closer to their own demise….if not the demise of us all.

    We are led by madmen and psychopaths and will have to live, or die, with the consequences of that.

  5. How, bumbling Zionist Israel First, Ukraine-to-be-Second-Israel-in-their-wet-dreams Blinken says he will not be in any photographs if Russian diplomats are in the same frame.

    This is it for the United Smears of Amnesia. So, boycott Russian anything, but hummus at noon in Tel Aviv, with those murdering monsters,

    On Wednesday, Israeli occupation forces killed a 20-year-old Palestinian man during clashes in the village of Yaba, near the city of Jenin, in northern West Bank.

    Blinken will be looking for a recliner and some vintage wine to sip with the other terrorists to watch more massive shooting and bombing of Gaza. Maybe he’ll bring his daft guitar and rock and roll with the rabbis!

    RE: Rafiq Riyad Ghannam was shot “while he was in front of his house at the time that there were clashes between young men and Israeli soldiers,” the WAFA agency reported, noting that the Israeli army retained the victim’s body and has not returned it to his family.

    In an attempt to justify what happened, the Israeli army argued that its soldiers operated according to arrest procedures, which include “the use of live ammunition against a suspect who was trying to flee the scene.”

    1. Thank you Paul+Haeder. “The Israeli Army argued that its soldiers operated accoudoing to arrest procurers, which include the use of live ammunition against a suspect who was trying to flee the scene.”

      BULL SHIT!

  6. I seem to detect a softening of the U.S./NATO attitude, the strident attitude has softened. Perhaps that is due to the mis-calculation of Russian resolve and how important that country is to Western Europe. Mr. Zelensky has maneuvered himself into an untenable situation. His troops have been beaten. His position was stronger two months ago. Now since it appears that the Russians are close to moping up the rest of his army he is facing unconditional surrender. Those U.S. paratroopers in Lithuania as strident as they were at the outset are silent. Paratroopers are no match for straight legged infantry with tank and artillery support. This is another reality that I’m sure the military realizes. In the bigger picture this is a failure of NATO.

    1. You mistake the pivot of propaganda away from Ukraine for a softening of attitude on the part of the US/NATO. There is no softening because they are too far into their own self created shit storm to back out now. They have de-facto declared war on both Russia and China, and humpty dumpty can’t be put back together again.

  7. Hmmm, let’s see – “.. it’s up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if and when to pursue negotiations with Moscow.” Then
    “‘[Zelensky] gets to determine how victory is decided and when and on what terms. … ‘ ” A bit of a slip there? – if Zelensky determines to be “victorious”, what is there to “negotiate”, doesn’t victory for one side mean defeat for the other … no need to “negotiate” – “I win, you lose so now you go away and don’t come back.”

    Then we get to the bottom line – “ ‘even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin,’ Kyiv’s NATO backers are not ready.”

    So it isn’t really up to Zelensky, is it – why would Putin want to negotiate with Zelensky when his “NATO backers ” are “not ready” – anything Zelensky might agree to wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s written on …

  8. Is that what they say? They won’t? Well that’s good then. On past performance that means they will.
    But to hell with Zelensky and the whole crew. The place is a dictatorship just as Angelo Guiliano says and what the place needs is a popular revolution to throw the incompetents and the evil out, right out.
    For the soldiers to realise they’re fighting for nothing but the egos and the profits of the leeches who’re destroying the Ukraine.
    It needs us to express friendship and concern for the Ukrainian people and soldiers even while approving the protection and assistance of the LPR and DPR.
    The whole thing is that none of ‘us’, i.e. friends of the LPR and DPR and the LPR and DPR themselves, ever meant any harm to the Ukrainians and their land.
    The sole intent was always simply for people to live in peace and sense – hence the LPR and DPR. Not meant to wheel around and hurt Ukraine but meant to protect against the hurts Ukraine offered.
    Now in truth the majority of Ukrainians wish no hard to the LPR and DPR.
    So on both sides amongst the people there’s only a desire for peace and harmony.
    So why the struggle? Because the filthy dictatorial totally corrupt ‘leadership’ has been hell bent on destroying the country in order to further their own ends, line their own pockets since the ’14 and before.
    They and, of course, a very big ‘of course’, the insidious promoters and urgers of the American amoral CIA representatives of the military industrial drugs cartel.
    Angelo puts it well, very early in the video:

    1. How do you know what “the people of Ukraine” (presumably, both opposing factions) want?

  9. Zelensky became president of Ukraine in 2019, Biden elected US president in 2020, and this is Zelensky/Biden’s war. After sending Ukraine $637 million, Biden promised another $800 million. What is the end game? Ukraine, part of the former Soviet Union, has been an independent country since 1991. Obviously, this wouldn’t be the case if Russia opposed their independence. So why target Russia? Does Zelensky have visions of taking down Russia? That’s as absurd as Puerto Rico taking down the US. So, what we have at this point is a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.

  10. Your figures are kind of low, aren’t they D.H. Fabian? US aid to Ukraine since February 24 exceeds $50 billion. It would have been nice if the author had identified who the “Johnson” was that figures so prominently in this report.

  11. Too many still do not understand that this is so far economic war between Western regimes and Russia.

    War in Ukraine was aimed solely for further economic weakening of Russian economy by prolonging costly war.

    As outcome of Russian military victory was already predetermined and confirmed by Pentagon analysis in March 2022 there is nothing to negotiate between West and Russia as for the west every day war continues is perceived as beneficial despite massacre of hundreds of of Ukrainians and likely demise of the Ukrainian state. They want Russians weaken no matter what price Ukrainians and Europeans and Americans have to pay. This is war.

    So far West failed in militarily bleed Russians but most importantly failed in main thrust of economic sanctions as well as in efforts of politically isolating and destabilizing Putin regime by economically weakening Russia fighting the war as Putin is fighting on a cheap making sure to limit military hardware and personnel costs to minimum. From the beginning of war Russian LDPR advances resulted in tens thousands of tonnes of weapons and ammunition in strongly fortified Donbas fell in hands of Donbas militia, rearming them with new weapons including thousands of western weapons which took 60% of burden on Russian military supplies to 60,000+ Donbas militia. Recently even Russian army was told to repair, refit abandoned Ukrainian military hardware and weapons and use it on combat to lower overall expenses. Putin wants this war to pay for itself even beyond obvious increase of Russian export revenues which war crisis produces by itself.

    Moreover Putin sees this war as a form of life ammunition exercise for his military in preparation two real war with NATO and Japan Korea US and hence massive rotation of military all over Russia without diminishing defense readiness anywhere.

    For example recent offensive in Lisichansk that started on June 19, Siberian units took part and after two weeks (typical length of military exercises) they are returning home so other fresh units from others Russian republics may replace them in that continuous combat exercise.

    Scott Ritter called it smart move to increase combat experience and readiness of overall Russian military in preparation for real conflict.

    A military analyst a colonel of Austrian army confirmed that minimalistic and specific to circumstances war economics Russia General Staff is running which according to him looks like Russian are reluctant to use overkill and hence they used not more than 5% of all their military

    Example he gave was massive use of old retrofitted tanks T72 with old Soviet active armor instead T80.. or T90/92 or even T14 Armada or tanks robotics which are mainstay of Russian Army. Only to explain that such old tanks are ideal for the topography and natural environment of Donbas while other newer types of tanks would fail. Suggesting that new tanks would show up in suitable for those tanks areas and for tactical plans of command.

  12. By all means, let’s continue the pain, death, and economic destruction as long as possible. Meanwhile, let’s not use $54 billion dollars solving hunger, homelessness, medical and student debt at home, but let’s instead throw it down a blood filled rabbit hole that only enriches Raytheon and General Dynamics and similar psychopaths and their henchpersons.

    Let’s go. Brandon!

  13. USA has defeated itself—cultureless a nation with no actual economy, producing nearly nothing….China and Russia the most important economies on earth. the French economist Jacque Sapir observes that amerikan economists cannot think, ranking the Russian economy by nominal GDP—irrelevant and as he writes by PPP Russia exceeds Germany also irrelevant, Sapir notes that when commodities, machines finished steel vehicles, etc exported by Russia are considered Russia is the most relevant economy on earth having a positive balance of trade with all nations

    1. Imagine this. Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians. Shit hole USA on almost every level except for millionaire and billionaire class(sic).

      Frontline Physicians in L.A. Can’t Pay Rent, So They Threatened to Strike

      Medical residents and interns in LA County have kept their hospitals running while making minimum wage and struggling to pay rent. Then they overwhelmingly voted to strike and won big.

      In These Times story, just one of a million demonstrating the perversion of inverted totalitarianism and casino and homicidal capitalism.

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