Washington is not pressuring Kiev to hold talks with Russia

The United States said on Thursday it was “not pressuring” Ukraine into holding talks with Russia to end the months-long war.

Commenting on previous reports about US officials urging Kiev to open up about the talks, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters the US was “not putting pressure on Ukraine” in this regard.

Sullivan explained that the United States “only consults as partners” with Ukraine and shows support for it through public statements and concrete material support from military assistance.

He added: “It is up to Ukraine to take decisions on its diplomatic path. It is our task to put them before the best option on the battlefield. “

The remarks come days after a Washington Post report said the United States had told Ukraine “secretly” to open up to talks with Russia, and demanded that Kiev officials abandon peace talks conditional on the removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin from office.

Officials in the Biden administration “have no intention of pushing Ukraine to the negotiating table,” the newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the discussions with Kiev.

Officials described the discussions as “a measured attempt to ensure that the Government in Kyiv maintains the support of other States facing constituencies wary of fuelling war for many years to come”.

In another context, Sullivan said that the United States would announce an additional package of security assistance to Ukraine, including the Hawk air defence systems and four Avenger systems with Stinger missiles.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Speaker Maria Zakharova told a press conference in Moscow that her country was “open to negotiations, and never rejected them”.

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