Senior US diplomat Wendy Sherman has declined to be fascinated by what exactly Joe Biden’s vision of a Russian “withdrawal” from Ukraine would be.
The president of the United States he said last week, for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine, that he would be willing to talk to Vladimir Putin if he really wanted to end the war.
He said, “There is one way to end this war – the rational way. Putin must withdraw from Ukraine, number one.”
But pressured by Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman would not question whether a “withdrawal” also included withdrawing from Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
He reminded the diplomat that the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky he had clarified that “territorial integrity” would include Crimea and asked her if the UK supported her ambition.
But speaking of the Beth Rigby Interviews… programme, Ms. Sherman would only say: “We support President Zelenskyy, we support the Ukrainian people. It’s not up to us to decide what a negotiated solution would look like in the end. It’s really up to the Ukrainians.”
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Ms Sherman continued: “I think we haven’t always said anything about it Ukrainewithout Ukraine, the USA and the UK.
“Britain has been shoulder to shoulder in this effort. I am truly so grateful for all that Britain has done to support the Ukrainians… we have a lot ahead of us.
“And what is important here is that there is an aggressor and this is Vladimir Putin and a victim and this is Ukraine.
“We have seen that Ukrainians will not be victims. They will fight for their country. And that is why we support them all in every possible way… This can end if Vladimir Putin withdraws his troops.”
Crimea is a huge part of the history of Russia and Russia he never believed the territory was not Russian.
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Moscow shows no signs of relinquishing control over Crimea.
The Kremlin has long said that Ukraine must accept Russian terms to end the fighting, which is now in its 10th month.
He demanded that Kiev recognize Crimea as part of Russia and also recognize other annexations by Moscow.
Zelenskyy and his officials have repeatedly rejected such terms, saying the war will end when the occupied territories are reconquered or Russian forces leave them.
Last month, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov told Sky News: Ukrainian forces could return to Crimea by the end of December.