A divided Biden administration pushes for diplomacy with Milley pushing for it
Russia is not afraid to lose its aggression against Ukraine, as stated by Vladimir Putin at a conference in Sea Island, Ga., on November 16, 2022
To defend the indefensible, Putin presented a false narrative about the invasion being necessary to de-Nazify and demilitarize Ukraine. He claimed that the Russian-speaking people in Ukraine were engaging in genocide against the Russians and that Russia was on the verge of attacking it.
The onus is still on Moscow to demonstrate that it is ready to negotiate and that it is prepared to sit down and engage in good faith with the Ukrainians.
Petraeus spoke at an annual conference in Sea Island, Ga., run by The Cipher Brief, which brings together members of the national security community — current and former — to stand back and look at the big picture on global security.
China has not condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. In late 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart that their relationship was crucial in the face of unprecedented pressure from the West. Xi echoed Putin’s message of unity, saying that the two countries should “strengthen strategic coordination” and “inject more stability into the world,” according to Chinese state media Xinhua.
The chief of staff to President Zelenskyy said that the conflict should end with a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield.
The Russian leader is not looking for a way out of the conflict, said Paul Kolbe, who runs the Intelligence Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School. In fact, he says, just the opposite. “Putin has a tendency to run into obstacles and escalate,” said Kolbe. “There’s a lot of tricks he can still pull out to try to undermine morale in Ukraine and in the West.”
Over the past 10 days, Russia has effectively launched a new front with long-range missile and drone strikes directed at civilian targets in the capital Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.
Putin is also calling up 300,000 more troops, and he annexed a swathe of Ukrainian territory in the south and the east, claiming it’s now part of Russia forever.
“That is a metaphor for a burning bridge,” said Alperovitch. “What this means is that this war is likely to continue for many, many months, potentially many years, as long as he’s in power and as long as he has the resources to continue fighting.”
That is a tall order as Putin’s Special Military Operation grinds on with a subtext of nuclear blackmail. Putin’s government will not negotiate or compromise on its war aims, which seek the elimination of the government in Kyiv and the subjugation of the Ukrainian people.
At the Georgia conference, no one suggested that the war was about to end. “Negotiating a solution to a war is not something I see happening in the near term,” said Paul Kolbe, the former CIA official.
The war began with a Russian invasion in 2014, and is still intense today. Greg Myre is an NPR national security correspondent. Follow him.
seize the chance to negotiate when peace can be achieved. Seize the moment,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff said recently.
The administration is divided over whether the recent gains on the battlefield will lead to a renewed effort to find a negotiated end to the fighting.
Milley’s push for peace has spilled into the public in recent days, just as Ukraine takes back the city of Kherson. In comments at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday, Milley praised the Ukrainian army for fighting Russia to a stalemate, but said that an entire military victory is out of reach.
The comments left administration officials unsurprised – given Milley’s advocacy for the position internally – but also raised concerned among some about the administration appearing divided in the eyes of the Kremlin.
The West was worried about China consummation of a new friendship with Moscow just before the invasion of Ukraine as Beijing hasn’t yet confirmed the side of the conversation. And as top US and Russian officials met in Turkey on Monday, partly about the nuclear issue, the signals coming out of the Xi-Biden talks could be an important indication of restraint from Beijing to Moscow and a diplomatic win for Washington.
In internal deliberations, officials said Milley has sought to make it clear that he is not urging a Ukrainian capitulation, but rather that he believes now is an optimal time to drive toward an end to the war before it drags into spring or beyond, leading to more death and destruction without changing the front lines.
But that view is not widely held across the administration. An official said that the State Department is on the other side of the pole. That dynamic has led to a unique situation where military brass are more fervently pushing for diplomacy than US diplomats.
Milley’s position comes as the US military has dug deep into US weapons stockpiles to support the Ukrainians and is currently scouring the globe for materials to support Ukraine heading into winter – such as heaters and generators – which has raised concerns about how long this war can be sustained, officials said.
The US intends to buy 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms manufacturers to provide to Ukraine, a US official said, part of a broader effort to find available weaponry for the high-intensity battles unfolding in Ukraine. 100,000 155mmhowitzer rounds will be purchased by the US and sent to Ukraine through the US.
The US-China Connection: After G20 and G20 + Security Summits, Indonesia vs. Indonesia (via Indonesian Foreign Ministry)
Ned Price did not say if the State Department agrees with Milley. The US has often spoken of a need for a diplomatic solution in regards to Zelensky, but Price instead talked about the US side’s position.
Sullivan said the US is going to be with Ukraine for a long time. There will be no wavering or flinching as we go forward.
The summit in Indonesia yielded two important outcomes, according to the US: A joint position that Russia must not use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine and an expected resumption of talks on climate between American and Chinese negotiators, a boost for the COP 27 global climate conference in Egypt.
The Biden-Xi summit came at a good time for the West and not a moment too soon. China remains a major violator of human rights, a threat to Taiwan and a key rival of the United States. It’s crucial that we avoid a Cold War or an accidental conflict.
That the world’s two most powerful leaders had not been addressing these issues together in recent months shows how the entire world suffers when Washington and Beijing are as deeply estranged as they’ve been this year.
Public statements from both sides also appeared to indicate a basic foundation that each recognize the critical nature of their rivalry, and both want to ensure that it doesn’t boil over into a war, at least yet. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit China next year. Such exchanges have been suspended since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August and triggered fierce Chinese protests and a vast military operation showing a growing capacity to cut off the self-governing island.
Leon Panetta, a former White House chief of staff, defense secretary and CIA head who dealt with US-China relations for decades, expressed cautious optimism after the talks at the G20 summit.
Panetta told CNN that if the meeting ends in a more diplomatic way, it will be important to start discussing issues that need to be addressed.
But at the summit in Bali, Indonesia, it was clear that while both sides want to avoid a clash now, their goals – China wants to be the preeminent Asian and potentially global power, as does the US – remain fundamentally incompatible.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said both sides should not try to subvert the other’s system.
Mr. Putin said that he was looking forward to welcoming China’s president to Russia, but indicated that there was still work to be done. The relationship between China and Russia was still a priority, Mr. Wang said.
So, Washington’s foreign policy has come full circle, since part of Richard Nixon’s motivation in engaging China during the 1970s Cold War deep freeze was to open strategic gaps between Beijing and Moscow.
The friendship between Putin andXi did not pan out as expected. China is unwilling to condemn Russia’s attack on its neighbor even though it called the Russian campaign an invasion. China has not armed Russian forces or warned against Russia using nuclear weapons.
The Biden-Xi Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and the Phenomenology of the World: When the US President Meets Putin
Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, (@fridaghitis) a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.
It took two years after Joe Biden was elected US President before the leaders of the world’s two most powerful countries could finally speak in person, but when Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the timing could not have been any better for the United States, for democracy and for the world.
In order to prove that democracy is better than their systems, autocrats in the US want deep divisions to continue, which is likely to be disappointing to them. The American President got a stronger hand to play with during the elections.
This meeting occurred because of the perfect moment from the standpoint of the United States and for democracy, but there is more to it than that.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came back to Kherson, the provincial capital that Russian invaders had conquered, after he was met by Biden and Xi.
And yet, China and Russia remain close, the world’s two leading autocracies determined to challenge the West and undercut the notion that genuine democracy is the most desirable system of government – lest it come for their jobs.
In terms of presidential stagecraft, Biden overshadowed Putin this week, with his daring overnight train journey into Kyiv and speech in the Polish capital, a location chosen for its role on NATO’s frontline. Putin delivered an address to the Russian parliament that was filled with conspiracy theories about the West and nuclear threats.
Putin decided not to attend the G20 summit in Indonesia, avoiding confrontation with other world leaders as he becomes a pariah on the global stage.
The Problems of Xi and the State of the Art: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars that might Still Happen
To be sure, Biden is not the only leader with a strong hand. Xi has just secured an unprecedented third term as China’s leader, and he can now effectively rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about elections, about a critical press or a vociferous opposition party. He is essentially the absolute ruler of a mighty country for many years to come.
And yet, there is a mountain of daunting problems facing him. The economy has slowed down so much that China is reluctant to reveal economic data. The Covid-19 vaccine was once a tool of global diplomacy. China is imposing lockdowns because of that and as the world gets back to normal, there will be more of them.
Also crucial in the epochal competition between the two systems is showing that democracy works, defeating efforts of autocratic countries such as China and Russia to discredit it and proving that unprovoked wars of aggression, aimed at suppressing democracy and conquering territory, will not succeed.
The author of A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars that might Still Happen is a CNN contributor and a member of the French Legion of Honor. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views he expresses are his own. CNN has more opinion.
The Russian army in Ukraine is tired, but the Russians are doing their due diligence: 9 months of re-arming and ammunition availability have been exhausted
Nine months in, Russian hopes of a swift seizure have been well and truly dashed, its army largely on the defensive across more than 600 miles of battle lines strung along the eastern and southern reaches of Ukraine.
The reality is that there is little real value to any truce, whether or not linked to negotiations. Russia needs a lot of breathing room because it has become increasingly militarised.
Michael Kofman, director of Russian studies at the CNA think tank and a leading expert on the Russian military told me in an interview that the only thing premature about a truce is it allows both parties to re-arm.
Already, Russia is beginning to rearm, experts say. “Ammunition availability” was one of the “most determinative aspects of this war,” said Kofman. It is not possible to make them in a month if you burn through 9 million rounds. So the issue is what is the ammunition production rate and what can be mobilized?” he added.
The mainstay of exchange along Ukrainian front lines has shifted production to Russia where it now takes 3-4 days a day, according to Kofman. He said the component parts suggest they wouldn’t be able to double and triple shifts.
The paper stated that the only viable solution is dialogue and negotiation. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported.”
“As well as giving the Russians time to regroup and rearm, importantly it would relieve the pressure on their forces at the moment,” General Mick Ryan, a fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me in an email exchange. They have been working hard for nine months. Their forces are exhausted.
Jeremy Fleming, the head of GCHQ, voiced that sentiment last month. “We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out,” said Fleming.
The French newspaper Le Monde did an analysis and found that Russian weapons have been destroyed by Ukrainian attacks.
The Russians have figured out the threat. The Russians seem to have adapted to the presence of Americans in the battlefield, and have removed their big equipment depots from the range.
That’s “basically any big command post or ammo dump they pulled back beyond the 80-kilometer range,” he explained. And in many cases, just inside Russian territory – which Ukraine has given Washington assurances it would not target with rocket systems supplied by the US.
The Russians’ thinking, Dougherty observes, is: “We can stabilize the front and we’ll wait out Ukrainians. We’ll wait out NATO, we’ll wait out the United States.”
Days after saying he wanted an end to his war, the Russian President on Sunday repeated his claim that he was ready to “negotiate with everyone involved in this process about acceptable solutions,” the state news agency TASS reported.
dismissing Putins conspiratorial claims and sense that the west is trying to topple him would be a mistake. While conventional victory may be beyond Russia, Putin may be able to live with a long grinding war that inflicts devastation on more Ukrainian cities, kills more Ukrainians, ends up costing Western governments billions and gradually hikes pressures on leaders in the US and Europe to pull back.
They will get tired of the war at some point, he said. And the Russian mindset may become “we may not have everything we wanted. But we’ll have a big chunk of the Donbas and will annex that into Russia and we’ll hold onto Crimea. And I think that’s kind of their bet right now.”
If the US and its allies were to get back in the war it would be a question of when, not if.
Zelensky and Putin: What Do We Ever Want to Learn From a Legendary Founder of the Think? An Analysis with Michael Bociurkiw
A global affairs analyst named Michael Bociurkiw is based in Odesa. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. His own opinions are expressed in this commentary. CNN has more opinion.
Zelensky stood up to then-US President Donald Trump as he tried to bamboozle a new politician in the quid pro quo scandal.
In Paris, I witnessed how Zelensky pulled up to the lysée Palace in a small car, while Putin drove in a limo. (The host, French President Emmanuel Macron, hugged Putin but chose only to shake hands with Zelensky).
In the days leading up to Russia’s full-scale invasion, Zelensky was in a steep, downward trajectory in popularity ratings from the all-time high in the first days of his administration.
Failure to demonstrate further progress on the battlefield with billions of dollars worth of military kit could stir unease among Western backers. But capitulation to Russia would be a political death sentence.
Zelensky had a rough upbringing in the rough areas of central Ukraine, but he learned how to react to other people’s harassment.
After the full-scale invasion, he knew exactly what he had to do because of his gut feeling, according to the founder of the think.
This, after all, is the leader who when offered evacuation by the US as Russia launched its full-scale invasion, quipped: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
Emerging Voices of the Young World: The Rise and Fall of Zelensky in the midst of World War II. The Case of the Ukrainian Prime Minister
It all seems a long, long way since Zelensky celebrated his victory in a renovated nightclub where he thanked his supporters. Standing on stage among the fluttering confetti, he looked in a state of disbelief at having defeated incumbent veteran politician Petro Poroshenko.
More than half of the Ukrainians said they didn’t trust Zelensky to lead them into war as Russian troops massed near their borders. It was likely influenced by him not keeping some of his campaign promises and not launching an effective fight against corruption in the judiciary.
His bubble includes many people from his previous professional life as a TV comedian in the theatrical group Kvartal 95. Even in the midst of the war, a press conference held on the platform of a Kyiv metro station in April featured perfect lighting and curated camera angles to emphasize a wartime setting.
I remember well how comforting his nightly addresses were in the midst of air raid sirens and explosions, because they brought solace to him.
“By wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the youthful, egalitarian uniform of Silicon Valley, rather than suits, Zelensky is projecting confidence and competence in a modern way, to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such,” Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian and author of “Red, White, and Blue on the Runway: The 1968 White House Fashion Show and the Politics of American Style,” told NPR.
Zelenska has shown herself to be a good international communicators, because she traveled to where her husband couldn’t. Most recently, she met with King Charles during a visit to a refugee assistance center at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. Zelenska was not included in the cover-montage of Time magazine and only a passing reference was given in the text.
Despite the strong tailwinds at Zelensky’s back, there are subtle signs that his international influence could be dwindling. The G7 imposed a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian crude, despite pleas from Zelensky that it should have been set at less than $60 in order to hurt the Kremlin.
At least 76 strikes on the power infrastructure on Friday were the product of missile and drones attacks on critical power infrastructure. millions of Ukrainians are having long periods without heat, electricity and water during the winter. If it means defeating Russia, many Ukrainians say they’re prepared to endure hardship for two to five years.
But a major climbdown would be required from the Kremlin for Putin to accept those terms. Zelensky has not entertained the notion of giving up any Ukrainian land, nor dropping his efforts to join NATO and the European Union, despite the fact that the Western support remains strong.
“Paradoxically, Zelensky achieved the thing that Putin most wanted to achieve but failed … to rally support domestically with a patriotic war in order to deflect and distract from his abject failures at home. In Putin’s mind, to be shown up by a mere ‘decadent’ comedian must be excruciatingly painful for him,” New York-based geopolitical and business analyst Michael Popow told me.
It can succeed in the battlefield with help from us and our allies and it will succeed if President Zelensky is ready to talk to the Russians.
The speech connected the struggles of the Ukrainian people to our own revolution, as well as the fact that we want to be warm for Christmas and to know that the families of those fighting in the country are trapped in the cold.
She said Zelensky’s address helped both the Democrats and Republicans understand the stakes in the fight against Putin and Russian aggression as well as with their ally, Iran.
Clinton thinks that no one is asking for a blank check. “I believe that the Ukrainians have proven that they are a really good investment for the United States. They do not want us to fight their war. They’re fighting it themselves. They’re asking us and our allies for the means to not only defend themselves but to actually win.”
The next day, the 301st since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the new equipment will not bring the conflict any closer to an end (“quite the contrary”) or prevent Russia from achieving the goals of its so-called “special military operation.”
Clinton met Putin while he was US Secretary of State and said it was likely impossible to predict whether Putin would win the war in Russia or lose it.
The Kremlin criticized the trip of the Ukrainian President, who secured billions of dollars in U.S. aid and several standing ovations in Congress.
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that they would provide an additional $1.85 Billion in military assistance to the Ukranian people. It is one of the most advanced and expensive defense systems the U.S. has supplied.
He said there had been no calls for peace or signs of willingness to “listen to Russia’s concerns” during Zelenskyy’s visit, which he said proves that the U.S. is fighting a proxy war with Russia “to the last Ukrainian,” Reuters reports.
The Kremlin has also been selling that line to the Russian public, who is largely buying it, says Sergey Radchenko, a Russian history professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
He tells Morning Edition that the majority of Russians are tired of the conflict, but still think of it as a fight between Russia and the West.
Last week Moscow warned of another provocative move by the U.S., which is reported to have delivered Patriot missiles to Ukraine.
“Patriots are a defensive weapons system that will help Ukraine defend itself as Russia sends missile after missile and drone after drone to try and destroy Ukrainian infrastructure and kill Ukrainian civilians,” she said. “If Russia doesn’t want their missiles shot down, Russia should stop sending them into Ukraine.”
The Foreign Minister of Ukraine wants to have a peace summit at the United Nations, with Secretary-General António Guterres as mediator
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s foreign minister on Monday said that his government is aiming to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as a possible mediator, around the anniversary of Russia’s war.
Russia would only be invited to the summit if it faced a war crimes tribunal first, according to the Foreign Minister.
Kuleba also said he was “absolutely satisfied” with the results of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S. last week, and he revealed that the U.S. government had made a special plan to get the Patriot missile battery ready to be operational in the country in less than six months. The training tends to take up to a year.
Kuleba said during the interview at the Foreign Ministry that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war in 2023, adding that diplomacy always plays an important role.
“The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit, because this is not about making a favor to a certain country,” he said. This is about bringing everyone on board.
At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.
About Guterres’ role, Kuleba said: “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. We are happy with his active participation.
The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine During the First World War II: Zelenskyy’s View of the United Nations and the Promise of a More Peaceful World
“They regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.
Zelenskyy traveled to the U.S. for the first time since the war began. Kuleba praised Washington’s efforts and underlined the significance of the visit.
Kuleba said that this show shows that the United States is important for both Ukraine and the United States.
He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”
While Kuleba didn’t mention a specific time frame, he said only that it will be “very much less than six months.” He said that the training will be done outside of Ukraine.
During Russia’s ground and air war in Ukraine, Kuleba has been second only to Zelenskyy in carrying Ukraine’s message and needs to an international audience, whether through Twitter posts or meetings with friendly foreign officials.
Yet the merciless Russian violence (which has forced almost 15 million Ukrainians to become refugees or internally displaced), the catastrophic missile strikes on civilian targets and the unlawful occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory continue. Russia is aPermanent member of the UN Security Council, and they have a mission to preserve and defend world peace.
The Foreign Ministry says that Russian never went through the legal procedure for acquiring membership and taking the place of the USSR at the U.N. Security Council after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Vladimir Putin explains the Ukrainian crisis and calls for a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine without a truce between the West and the Kremlin
His remark came amid Russia’s tireless bombardment of Ukraine’s energy grid with rockets and missiles, which has sought to wipe out the country’s power as it enters its cold winter months, and follows a ten-month invasion in which Putin has repeatedly attempted to denigrate Ukraine’s sovereignty.
On Sunday, even though he seemed to be interested in negotiating, the Russian leader continued to state that it was Moscow that was defending itself against an attack and that he would only talk to those in the Ukrainian side of the conflict.
The vaguely conciliatory tone from Putin was quickly erased by a heavy-handed message from one of his key officials.
Alexander Rodnyansky, an economic adviser to President Zelensky, told CNN that they were likely trying to buy time in the conflict.
“The blitzkrieg has gone terribly wrong for them and they know that, so they need more time to regroup and rebuild their troops,” Rodnyansky said, adding that it was also Kremlin’s strategy to dissuade the world from sending more military aid to Ukraine. “We must not fall into that trap.”
Putting a dent in that support remains a key aim for Putin, whose position would be strengthened if foreign leaders leaned on Zelensky to consider a deal with Russia.
It makes no sense for the West to offer to carve up its land in exchange for Putin invading it.
But Zelensky and his officials have said throughout that they will continue to sound out the possibility of negotiations, without raising any hopes that they would achieve a truce.
“Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba told the AP on Monday. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
The steps includes a path to nuclear safety, food security, a special tribunal for alleged Russian war crimes, and a final peace treaty with Moscow. He urged G20 leaders to use their authority to make Russia abandon nuclear threats and to put a price cap on energy imports from Moscow.
Vladimir Putin meets Wang Yi, the top diplomat of the Russian Embassy, in a show of unity for NATO and the war in the early 2000s
A decisive swing on the battlefield in the New Year could force a change in the calculus, but both sides are dug into what will many observers believe could become a long and grinding conflict.
“For me, as president, a just peace is no compromises as to the sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity of our country, the payback for all the damages inflicted by Russian aggression,” Zelensky said during his joint press conference with Biden at the White House.
America has done this before. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most perilous nuclear confrontation so far, and the position of the Soviet Union shifted in a matter of days. Had red lines been used, America might have accepted an inferior compromise that weakened its security and credibility.
Immediately, our engagement ceased due to the grave threat of Russian incursion into Ukraine and Russia’s requests for security guarantees from the US and NATO. It was apparent to me that the Russians had no intention of negotiating in good faith.
In this photograph, provided by Russian state media, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is meeting with Wang Yi, China’s top foreign policy official, at the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday.
In a show of unity, the leaders of the two nuclear powers vowed to have a relationship with “no limits.” It looked like a significant moment in the globalization of power.
In addition to fortifying NATO and strengthening alliances, which President Joe Biden’s administration has accomplished with great success, the US must aim to forestall the creation of a credible, unified force of aggressive antidemocratic regimes.
The rule of the strongest does not work when you cannot win, which is why Russia’s plans started to unraveling and China changed its mind.
Is Xi in or out with Putin? It seems that Xi would like to have it both ways. He wants the relationship with the invaded country to be good, but he wants to be a responsible leader rather than a follower of the Western model.
The US claims that Russia has bought weapons from North Korea which denies it was involved in the war.
Those adamant denials changed later, with Iran claiming it sold weapons before the war started, but those were not being used in Ukraine. Newly discovered documents show the same drones that were used in Iran have been used in Ukraine.
Iran, whose repressive, interventionist regime has also turned it, like Russia, into a pariah to much of the world, now finds itself being courted by both Moscow and Beijing.
This week, Ebrahim Raisi became the first Iranian president to visit China in 20 years. According to the invitation of the President, the trip seeks to implement an agreement for a 25-year strategic cooperation pact the two reached at the meeting of theShanghai Cooperation Organization in 2021.
Such suspicions are compounded by claims by US officials that Beijing is considering stepping up its partnership with Moscow by supplying Russia’s military with “lethal support.”
Territorial and sovereignty integrity of all countries will be respected in China’s proposal, Wang said, adding that Beijing will continue to work for peace.
Yet China is also wary of alienating European countries further with its notable lack of condemnation of Russia’s war. In the position paper published Friday, China tried to tread a fine line.
“We need more proof that China isn’t working with Russia, and we aren’t seeing that now,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told CNN Saturday.
Beijing’s claim to neutrality has been severely undermined by its refusal to acknowledge the nature of the conflict – it has so far avoided calling it an “invasion” – and its diplomatic and economic support for Moscow.
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that the visit is the first of any Chinese official to Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine. It is the first visit of China’s top diplomat since the Russian invasion.
Since the war began, Beijing has deepened its relationship with Moscow. Any Chinese move to provide lethal support to Russia would only support aggression and undermine a rules-based order.
The officials wouldn’t give any detail on what intelligence the US has seen suggesting that China might be shifting its posture, but said they shared it with their allies and partners at the conference.
On the sidelines of the conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a meeting with Wang Yi.
A state department official told reporters that the secretary warned about the consequences of China assisting Russia with sanctions evasion.
Wang and McCarthy in Kiev: “F-16s are not a question for the long term defense of Ukraine,” Vice President Mike Sullivan told CNN at the Munich Security Conference
“This warfare cannot continue to rage on. Wang said at the conference that we have to think about how we can bring this warfare to an end.
That equipment has included items like flak jackets and helmets, multiple sources familiar with US and European intelligence told CNN. Officials said that China has stopped short of the lethal weapons systems that was requested by Russia, as it wanted to not be seen as a pariah on the world stage.
They may provide lethal support, that is the concern that we have now. We made clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship.
“The China-Russia relationship has stood the test of the drastic changes in the world landscape and become mature and tenacious,” Wang told Putin, according to a Chinese foreign ministry read-out from the meeting.
Two leading House Republicans have called on President Joe Biden to increase military support to Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion and reiterated support on both sides of the aisle for continuing to fund the Ukrainian war effort.
Turner, an Ohio Republican, defended congressional support for Ukraine despite several of his fellow House GOP colleagues co-signing a “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution calling for the US to end military and financial aid to the country. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told CNN last week he opposes the resolution.
McCaul warned that if the conflict continued, it could prolong the conflict and allow anti-Ukraine dissent to build.
The longer they drag out this, the more they play into Russian leader Vladimir. Putin has his hands. He wants this to be a long, protracted war because he knows that potentially, he will lose – we could lose the will of the American people and therefore the Congress,” the Texas Republican told CNN, speaking from the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
F-16s are not a question that needs to be asked. F-16s are a question for the long-term defense of Ukraine and that’s a conversation that President Biden and President Zelensky had,” Sullivan said.
The resolution was related to a letter more than two dozen House Democrats sent the White House last fall asking for diplomacy between Russia and Ukraine. The letter was retracted shortly after.
He said there were a few on both sides who were cautious or didn’t support the cause, and they wanted support to end. There are many members of Congress. There are probably 400 that are for continuing this direction and this path.”
The security conference on nuclear and missile development in the early 2021 world, and the role of the United States in tackling Chinese cyberattacks
“This balloon, by the way, had a lot of American parts in it. We know that the hypersonic missile that went around the world with precision was built on the backbone of American technology,” McCaul said, referring to Beijing’s test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in 2021.
“They steal a lot of this from us. But we don’t have to sell them the very technology they can put in their advanced weapons systems to then turn against either Taiwan in the Pacific or eventually, possibly the United States of America. I think there’s great bipartisanship on this issue,” he added.
McCaul said that both the Republicans and Democrats want to confront Chinese threats and that there is a high tension between the two countries.
McCaul said that there is a chance of being bipartisan on national security against one of the greatest threats to this country.
The issue is that no one wants a cold war. In order for us to have a relationship that is stable, peaceful and friendly, we need to know that it is not going to be an aggressor state, nor is it going to be building up its military, or making negative comments about the United States.
The security conference is a gathering of heads of state, generals, intelligence chiefs and top diplomats from around the world.
Zelenskyy urged Western leaders to act instead of talking, calling for quick deliveries of weapons and warning that supplies on the battlefield were going to run out.
U.S.-China Interaction at the First High-Energy Meeting of the United Nations on the Second Law of Geopolitics
This year, the U.S. made its presence at the gathering felt with a record number of delegates, including significant bipartisan and bicameral representation from Congress.
But with delegations attending from every continent, beyond Europe and the members of NATO, broader geopolitical issues were at play, both on the conference stage and on the sidelines.
It remains to be seen if there will be a chance of dialogue with President Putin at the next conference. Vice President Harris announced Saturday that the US was preparing to put Russian leaders on trial for crimes against humanity.
Evidence shows that the Russians are targeting civilians, including children, because they have been cruelly separated from their parents.
She said to delegates not to look the other way as a four year old girl was sexually abused by a Russian soldier.
The U.S. Secretary of State said in a statement released at the conference: “We reserve crimes against humanity determinations for the most egregious crimes.”
Wang said respect for the sovereignty of independent nations was one of the top priorities of Beijing’s foreign policy. Within the same breath, he warned against international interference on the issue of Taiwan. Wang said that opposing Taiwanese independence forces meant maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait.
The first high-level meeting between the US and China in years happened on the last night of the conference, and it was between Blinken and Wang.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department said that Blinken told Wang that the U.S. is not seeking conflict with China but warned him against Beijing providing any material support to Russia, or helping Moscow evade Western sanctions.
While Wang Yi called for peace in Ukraine – without elaborating how to achieve it or what peace in the region means – Europe’s leaders committed to investing more in weapons.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said member states should work together with the defense industry to scale up the production of munitions for Ukraine which NATO says is being used quicker than Europe can replace them.
After the conference, the German Chancellor asked his European colleagues to follow through on their pledges to provide battle tanks to Ukraine. During a Q&A session, Scholz quipped it was ironic that he’s now having to urge others to deliver Leopard tanks quickly to Ukraine after they’d put pressure on him to do the same in previous weeks.
Scholz’s new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius continued in the same vein and pushed for higher military spending within Europe and NATO. He called for the NATO alliance to agree on a minimum of 2% as a base commitment to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Germany will not meet the 2% target for another couple years, despite the additional 100 billion boost to the budget given by the government.
Scholz remained tight-lipped about requests from Ukraine to send fighter jets, having publicly said no on several occasions. He said Germany’s support for Kyiv is resolute but warned against hasty decisions and the dangers of escalation.
John J. Sullivan left Moscow to join Vladimir Putin in the fight against the Russian Invasion of the Black Hole. A conversation with John Khodorkovsky
Prominent Kremlin critics including exiled oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, chess champion Gary Kasparov and the wife of jailed opposition political Alexey Navalny, were offered seats instead.
The conference is known for promoting dialogue, but it was not supposed to be a podium for Russian propaganda.
Heusgen, who served as the top foreign policy aide to Chancellor Berlitz, admitted in an interview that he left last year’s conference convinced that Russia wouldn’t invade Ukraine. The invasion began four days later.
Editor’s Note: John J. Sullivan was US Ambassador to Russia from December 2019 to October 2022. He was an official at the US State Department. And is now a partner in Mayer Brown LLP and a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The views expressed in this commentary are of his own. It is possible to read more opinions on CNN.
For weeks, I had been telling everyone I could reach that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to launch a war on the continent of Europe, the scale of which had not been seen since World War II.
I was discouraged because I was confident in my assessment before the war. For two years, I had worked hard as US ambassador to make even modest progress in the few areas in which any dialogue was possible with the Russians.
I say this with a heavy heart, as a person who was an advocate for continued negotiations with the Russian government even as the downward spiral of our relationship accelerated. I left a comfortable perch on Mahogany Row at the State Department as the Deputy Secretary State to serve as the US ambassador in Moscow and take the lead in those negotiations.
Russian interlocutors read from their talking points and would not engage in a real dialogue. Minders from the Russian security services monitored every meeting and phone call. The Russians were going through a diplomatic charade to lay the groundwork for an invasion that Putin had already decided to launch. The only question was when.
The war changed things great and small, from where I lived in Moscow to Russia’s standing in the world. I had to move to the embassy compound because the pace of teleconferences with Washington, combined with an eight hour time difference, meant I couldn’t always be available at all hours.
The invasion had an impact on the global economy, including energy and grain markets. And most tragically, it slaughtered thousands of innocents and caused unspeakable suffering for millions of Ukrainians because of a policy choice by Putin in his quest for empire.
The Russians did not negotiate in good faith before the war, and they will not do so now. There is no “off ramp” until Putin achieves his longstanding goals.
Only then will the Russian government realize that the goals of its Special Military Operation cannot and will not be achieved. Only then will the Russian government negotiate in good faith. And only then would peace return to Europe.
President Joe Biden’s trip to mark the anniversary of the war in Ukraine is highlighting an even more grave challenge – a new era of simultaneous and sometimes intertwined US confrontations with nuclear rivals Russia and China.
The optics of the two trips – taking place just days before the one-year anniversary of the brutal war on Friday – underscores the sharpening of geopolitical fault lines between the world’s two superpowers.
In a veiled dig at the US, Wang said: “We don’t add fuel to the fire, and we’re against reaping benefits from this crisis.”
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He called on European officials to consider what framework should be used to bring lasting peace to Europe.
Responding to the accusations Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry blasted the US for “shoving responsibility, shifting blame and spreading false information.”
The US side gives a steady stream of weapons to the battlefield. The US side is not qualified to lecture China, and we wouldn’t tolerate the US forcing pressure on Russia, said a ministry spokeswoman at a regular news conference.
“Who is calling for dialogue and peace? Who is encouraging confrontation with knives? The international community can see clearly.
Previously, Beijing had carefully avoided actions that could trigger secondary sanctions, which would deal a devastating blow to an economy hampered by three years of costly zero-Covid policy.
For context: Though China claimed impartiality in the Ukraine conflict and no advance knowledge of Russia’s intent, it has refused to condemn Moscow and parroted Kremlin lines blaming NATO for provoking the conflict.
Beijing has supported Russia over the past year, as measured by its annual trade, diplomatic engagements and schedule of joint military exercises.
Biden’s dramatic visit to Kyiv Monday amid wailing air raid sirens and his soaring speech in Warsaw a day later reinforced the West’s remarkable support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russia and directly repudiated President Vladimir Putin.
China is meanwhile injecting its own strategic play into this widening great power brouhaha. It sent its top diplomat Wang Yi – his ears ringing with US warnings not to send Russia arms to use in Ukraine – to Moscow for high-level talks, even as a Sino-American spy balloon feud simmers.
Wang told Putin that the two nations often face “crisis and chaos, but there are always opportunities in a crisis and the latter could possibly turn into the former.”
And this new and complicated foreign policy picture is not just a problem for American diplomats. When Western weapons stocks are sent to Ukraine, there are questions about military capacity and the current defense budget is not sufficient. Key Republicans meanwhile are accusing Biden of snubbing voters facing economic and other problems, even as he tries to position Democrats as the protectors of working Americans as the 2024 campaign dawns.
And Biden vowed, “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail,” he added.
To Western ears, Putin seems to be living in an alternative reality. Biden said that he spoke with the people of Russia. The United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. Putin said that the West wasn’t planning to attack Russia.
“The fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all that, and steamrolling, that has not even come close to happening,” DeSantis said on Fox. They have shown they are a third-rate military power.
Implications of the Cold War for the Development of the United States-Russia Interaction, as Seen by a U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Biden’s trip also demonstrated that the estrangement between the US and Russia – a factor that will shape global politics for years – is almost complete.
Putin, for example, announced Tuesday that Russia would suspend participation in the New START nuclear treaty with the United States. Since Moscow stopped fully implementing the deal, it wasn’t clear what impact it would have.
Russia doesn’t have the money to start a nuclear arms race with the US due to its ailing economy and pressure on its conventional forces. The collapse of one of the building blocks of a post-Cold War thaw between Russia and the US illustrates the lack of communication between the rivals.
The Biden administration’s accusation last week that Russia has committed crimes against humanity ensures there will be no return to normality between Washington and Moscow even if the Ukraine war ends.
Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned on CNN Sunday that a move cross a US red line but did not specify what consequences would be.
A long-dragging conflict could also drive divides between the US and Europe – further playing into China’s foreign policy goals. Political dissent in Washington could make it harder for Biden to fulfill his foreign policy goals.
Mr. Wang arrived in Moscow this week after a tour of Western Europe, where he sought to persuade European leaders that Beijing is not supporting Mr. Putin’s war and wants to encourage a peaceful exit from the fighting.
On Tuesday, Mr. Wang met with Nikolai P. Patrushev, Mr. Putin’s top security adviser. The Chinese government statement on the meeting said the two had “exchanged views” on Ukraine.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Putin highlighted the economic aspect of the China-Russia relationship, predicting that the countries’ annual trade volume could reach $200 billion as early as this year, compared with $185 billion last year.
We are reaching new frontiers and everything is moving forward. We’re talking about economic issues.
The State Department is expecting China to put a peace plan on the table with their ideas for resolving Russia’s war in Ukraine
The Biden administration on Friday will be putting “constraints” on Chinese companies believed to be “active in evading sanctions” related to the war in Ukraine, a top US State Department official said Thursday.
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said that the United States “will be putting other constraints on entities, Chinese-based or Chinese-subs of entities in Europe, which we think are active in evading sanctions,” along with sanctions package that will be announced on Friday – the anniversary of the invasion.
The forthcoming sanctions will also “clamp down on more Russian banks that have been evading sanctions” as well as “the middlemen who are flipping back money to the Russian government” through oil trade.
The Biden administration is expecting China to put a peace plan on the table Friday with their ideas for resolving Russia’s war in Ukraine, a US State Department official said Thursday.
The plan will be presented by the Chinese. There is a United Nations Security Council meeting tomorrow where China could make this presentation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be at the meeting.
“It can’t simply be a cynical ceasefire that allows the Russians the time to go home, rest, refit and return,” Nuland said. “But listen if Xi Jinping can get Putin and his army out of Ukraine, I think we’d all applaud and give a peace price.”
In a newly released position paper Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry called for a resumption of peace talks, an end to unilateral sanctions, and stressed its opposition to the use of nuclear weapons – a stance Chinese leader Xi Jinping communicated to Western leaders last year.
The position paper was first discussed last week by top diplomat Wang Yi at a security conference in Munich, as he attempted to cast Beijing as a responsible negotiator for peace during a diplomatic charm offensive in Europe.
“Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control,” the paper said.
And despite claiming the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld,” the document fails to acknowledge Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.
But the Chinese position paper also took several digs at the West for its approach to the war. It says unilateral sanctions only create more problems, and it called for the abandonment of a so-called “cold war mentality”.
The security of a region shouldn’t be achieved by adding more blocs. It seems that the legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries should be addressed properly, in line with what Moscow thinks of the West.
In Beijing, the ambassador of the European Union to China, Jorge Toledo, told reporters at a briefing that China’s position paper was not a peace proposal, adding that the EU is “studying the paper closely,” according to Reuters.
She said that China should talk to both sides of the divide, and noted that Kyiv was not consulted before the release of the paper.
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“This requires us to identify changes more voluntarily and respond to the changes more actively to further strengthen our comprehensive strategic partnership,” Wang said.
Both Sullivan and Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, took questions at the town hall from Americans and Ukrainians Thursday, on topics ranging from how the US will keep arming Ukraine to an assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions and the role China may play in the conflict.
Power was asked by Lera if she could rely on the US to feel safe in her country. Power responded that the US was committed to making Ukrainians feel as safe as possible despite the war.
“Sitting here today, we do not see movements in Russia’s nuclear forces that lead us to believe that something fundamentally has changed from how things have been over the course of the past year,” Sullivan said.
The new funding for the 2 billion package includes rockets, 155-millimeter cannon rounds, drones, counter-drone equipment, mine clearing equipment and secure communications equipment.
Sullivan was asked by a Ukranian soldier if the US could increase production of missiles and other weaponry for the war-torn country.
Sullivan said that they are increasing the production of all types of ammunition at the request of President Biden. “This is not something we can do with the snap of a finger, but it’s something that we are putting immense effort and resources into.”
Sullivan said that the US has the ability to modify its position on weapons in the midst of the war. The US agreed to give tanks to Ukraine because Germany wanted the USA to give tanks before doing so, he said.
Biden spoke to the Ukrainian president about F-16s during his trip, Sullivan said.
Sullivan wasn’t sure what to think about the plan Beijing released that called for the end of hostilities inUkrainian and promised to be a broker between Moscow and Kyiv.
“Well my first reaction to it is they could stop at point one, which is respect the sovereignty of all nations,” Sullivan said. “This war could end tomorrow if Russia stopped attacking Ukraine and withdrew its forces. NATO wasn’t attacking Russia, and the United States wasn’t attacking Russia. This was a war of choice waged by Putin.
Sullivan and Power both brushed aside comments by some Republican critics that the billions of dollars the US is spending inUkraine would be better spent at home.
“I would say to those senators, yes, let’s do these things at home. But are you saying that American is incapable of also helping to serve as a powerful force of good in the world?” Sullivan said.
I think there is a degree of pessimism about the argument these senators are making. President Biden has an positive view that we can do it and that we should do it, and we are doing it.
“The reflection, I think, of how much commonality Americans do feel with Ukrainians is the flow of support that has been sustained over the course of this last year,” Power said. The bipartisanship in a town that isn’t famous for it anymore is what makes it so important to the country.
When one person has tried to take that away, we have your backs, we stand with you and we are trying to make you feel as safe as possible.
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Power acknowledged the long road ahead for Ukraine to rebuild the country when the war ends. She noted that the damage has been estimated to be around $130 billion.
Power said that USAID and international financial institutions have worked to rebuild Ukraine’s infrastructure and help get private industry to return to peaceful parts of Ukraine.
She stated that major projects are still going on, and that the Biden administration and other allies are focused on making sure the money that is devoted to reconstruction is spent as wisely as possible.
“The other thing we want to do now is, with an eye to those big-ticket items, most of which will only happen when there’s a negotiated peace,” Power said.
“But we have to make sure resources are going to be well spent,” she added. It is important for you to have protections in place so that all investors and donors know what is going on, when you have huge investments like that.
There is not a lot of leverage involved. The document lays out broad, general principles, but no real reason why you might want to cease and desist, right? There’s no big appeal that you’re getting something. There’s no big cost if you don’t comply,” said Ian Chong, associate professor of political science at National University of Singapore.