Biden Administration Considers Idea of Ceasefire as Tensions Mount

Biden Administration Considers Idea of Ceasefire as Tensions Mount

( – Ukraine received massive support from the US and European allies leading up to and after the launch of Russia’s invasion of the smaller country. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his countrymen surprised many observers when they repelled Kremlin forces and saved the capital of Kyiv even though they lost territory in Luhansk and Donetsk in the eastern part of the nation. Now, experts say the Biden administration might consider floating the idea of a ceasefire to Zelenskyy as President Joe Biden and Democrats face mounting pressure from both hawks and doves regarding the ongoing conflict, according to POLITICO.

Hawks Argue the US Held Back

Russia continues to occupy significant territory in the eastern portion of Ukraine despite US investments of more than $30 billion in aid and equipment to the smaller nation. Still, the government faction in favor of continuing strong military Ukrainian support, the hawks, argue the Biden administration withheld strategic tools like long-range missiles, fighter jets, and air defenses, which would have made Ukraine more effective both defensively and offensively in recovering territory from Russian troops. Zelenskyy himself has made the same argument.

Additionally, in an exclusive AP interview with Zelenskyy on March 29, the Ukrainian president warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin would continue to push to gain territory if he senses any weakness that his forces could exploit.

Doves Claim Ukraine Has Proven It Can’t Completely Oust Russian Forces

Other factions of the US government doubt Ukraine’s ability to mount an effective enough counteroffensive against Russia to push troops out of disputed territories, including Crimea. Doves counsel negotiation and argue that continuing to fund a full-out offensive might prove a poor investment because Ukraine has already fallen short of its objectives in reclaiming occupied territories.

While the Biden administration has publicly expressed continued support for Ukraine, the president and State Department diplomats have begun to urge Zelenskyy to consider negotiations and overtures toward establishing a “just peace.”

In response to those calls, Zelenskyy, speaking at a White House press briefing during his visit to the US on December 21, 2022, said, “For me… just peace is no compromises [regarding] the sovereignty… and [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity [and] the payback for all the damages [created] by Russian aggression.”

Despite Pressures, Some Administration Officials Seemingly Reject Calls for Ceasefire

As recently as April 26, the US ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, rejected that country’s calls for a ceasefire and peace talks, according to Reuters. Speaking to a discussion panel in Budapest, Pressman remarked, “When we hear politicians [promote] appeasement {disguised] as peace, let’s be… clear… If [Russia] stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.” He added that asking a country successfully resisting an attempted invasion to sign a ceasefire while nearly one-fifth of the nation is still occupied by invading forces was “cynical.” Still, the statesman’s comments show the widening gap between the US and some NATO allies regarding support for continued hostilities in Ukraine.

The ambassador’s remarks also echo those of National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) on Friday, March 17. Kirby spoke with VOA about China’s President Xi Jinping’s visit with Putin in Russia on March 20 and specifically mentioned the possibility of a call for a ceasefire. He also pointed out that a break in hostilities could allow Russia to mount a more effective assault on Ukraine and weaken the smaller country’s position within the UN that Russia invaded illegally.

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