Senior US diplomat Wendy Sherman has refused to say what exactly Joe Biden thinks about Russia’s “withdrawal” from Ukraine.
This America president Last week, for the first time since invading Ukraine, he said he was willing to talk to Vladimir Putin if he really wanted to end the war.
“There is one way to end this war — the rational way. Putin out of Ukraine, number one,” he said.
But US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, pressed by Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, would not say whether the “withdrawal” also included withdrawal from Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
She reminded the diplomat that Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky Made it clear that “territorial integrity” would include Crimea, and asked her whether Britain supported his ambitions.
But on Beth Rigby Interviews… , Ms. Sherman would say only: “We support President Zelensky, we support the people of Ukraine. We cannot decide what the final negotiated settlement will be. It really depends on the Ukrainians.”
Ukraine war latest live: Kremlin admits ‘a lot of work ahead’
Ms Sherman continued: “I don’t think we’ve been saying anything Ukrainewithout Ukraine and the US and the UK.
“The UK is standing shoulder to shoulder in this. I really, really appreciate everything the UK is doing to support the Ukrainians … We still have a lot to do.”
“The important thing here is that there is an aggressor, which is Vladimir Putin, and a victim, which is Ukraine.
“We’ve seen that Ukrainians will not be victims. They will fight for their country. That’s why we’re all doing our best to support them … if Vladimir Putin pulls out, it could be Finish.”
Crimea is an important part of Russian history, and Russia Never believed that the territory was not Russian.
Explainer: Why is Crimea so important to Russia?
Moscow has shown no signs of relinquishing its grip on Crimea.
The Kremlin has long said Ukraine must accept Russia’s conditions for an end to the fighting, which is now in its 10th month.
It demands that Kiev recognize Crimea as part of Russia and recognize other annexations by Moscow.
Mr Zelensky and his officials have repeatedly rejected those conditions, saying the war would end when occupied territories are recaptured or Russian troops withdraw.
Last month, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Volodymyr Havrylov, told Sky News, Ukrainian troops may return to Crimea by the end of December.