White House Wants Ukraine to Express Willingness to Negotiate With Russia: CNN revealed how senior U.S. officials have urged Kyiv for several weeks to express willingness to return to the negotiating table with Russia. Citing sources familiar with the discussions, the outlet revealed how the White House is concerned that public support for Ukraine could wane unless there is some indication that the conflict could conclude with peace talks.
According to anonymous sources, the White House is not attempting to get Kyiv to negotiate right now, but instead to communicate that a diplomatic solution to the conflict is preferred.
Among those pushing the Ukrainian government to express willingness to negotiate is National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who has reportedly taken on a leading role in the effort following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision to sign a decree in October that ruled out more negotiations with Russia.
Under Zelenskyy’s decree, Kyiv refuses to negotiate with Russia unless Russian President Vladimir Putin is removed from power.
Is Public Support for Ukraine Waning?
Polls have repeatedly shown through 2022 that Americans are largely in favor of the United States federal government supporting Ukraine. Surveys have also consistently shown American sympathy towards Ukraine, with a recent YouGov poll showing 81% of Americans considering Russia an “enemy” and 76% expressing negative opinions of the Russian president.
That support, however, is not necessarily constant – nor does it translate to support for endless financial and military support to Ukraine. As Keith Naughton notes in The Hill, Americans largely don’t consider foreign affairs to be the most important political issues of the day, with just 6% telling YouGov that “national security” is their most important issue.
With a worsening economic situation at home, the idea of sending new financial aid packages to Ukraine worth billions of dollars could become a difficult sell for Democrats in the White House. Republicans may also be on the verge of limiting that aid, with polls suggesting the GOP is on track to take control of both the House and Senate on Tuesday night.
The problem for the White House is that, while Americans support Ukraine, that support can only last so long – and these new efforts to push a diplomatic resolution to the conflict may have come sooner than originally planned, perhaps in anticipation of the Republicans making a clean sweep in the mid-term elections.
Whatever happens today during the midterms, though, it looks like the U.S. government is preparing for a time when Americans want to see U.S. funding to Ukraine slashed and the presidents of Ukraine and Russia sat down at the negotiating table.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.
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