https://thehill.com/policy/international/3721682-u-s-privately-asking-ukraine-to-drop-public-refusal-of-peace-talks-with-russia-washington-post/

The United States privately asked Ukraine to drop its public refusal of peace talks with Russia and signal a willingness to engage in negotiations, as the war in Ukraine drags into its ninth month, The Washington Post reported.

The move is reportedly a strategic effort by the U.S. to ensure ongoing support for Kyiv, according to the Post.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky initially expressed a willingness to negotiate early in the war. However, after Russian President Vladimir Putin formally annexed four regions of Ukraine in late September, Zelensky issued a declaration stating that it would be impossible to hold peace talks with Putin.

Zelensky’s refusal to engage with Putin has drawn concern from other countries. South Africa joined about three dozen other countries in abstaining from a UN vote in October condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories, instead urging for a focus on facilitating a cease fire, according to the Post.

In the U.S., congressional support for the war in Ukraine has also begun to falter, among both Republicans and Democrats. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested last month that Republicans will reign in Ukraine spending if they retake the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took a more extreme approach earlier this week, promising that “not another penny will go to Ukraine” under Republican leadership in Congress.

House progressives also sent a letter to President Biden last month, which they have since withdrawn, urging him to push harder for a diplomatic resolution to the the war in Ukraine.

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