Fighting and talking at the same time
Framework for peace agreement already in place
LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces claimed to have retaken a Kyiv suburb and an eastern town from the Russians in what is becoming a back-and-forth stalemate on the ground, while negotiators began assembling for another round of talks Tuesday aimed at stopping the fighting.
Late last week, with its forces, bogged down in parts of the country, Russia seemed to scale back its war aims, saying its main goal was now gaining control of the Donbas. Both sides, including NATO, by now must realize that there is no pathway to an all-out military victory or forced regime change and that a negotiated ceasefire is on the horizon. But in the meantime, thousands are dying and millions are being displaced as they battle for position in the days leading up to the next round of negotiations today in Turkey.
A broad framework for a ceasefire and possible peace agreement has been in place since, and even before the war began. But the trick has been to get both leaders to the negotiating table to sign the deal and to carry it out free from outside pressure from those who reap benefits in fomenting total war and keeping the weapons flowing and their bloc gaining a greater advantage.
The framework for peace was reiterated by Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskiy again on Sunday:
Ukraine’s president said in a video address, that in talks due to take place in Istanbul his government would prioritize the territorial integrity of Ukraine. But conceded that Ukraine was willing to assume neutral status and compromise over the status of the eastern Donbas region as part of a peace deal.
The Russians seem to be offering the same.
Maybe a ceasefire soon? Hoping.
Did Biden’s blunder let the cat out of the bag?
Reuters reports this morning that President Biden’s aides and Western allies are scrambling to explain his off-script remark that Russian leader Vladimir Putin could not remain in power because they do not want to escalate the conflict between Washington and Moscow or admit that their aim in this war is regime change.
The nine-word line, at the end of a 27-minute speech in Warsaw on Saturday, has made his western allies uneasy at the end of a trip aimed at uniting them against Russia and has raised fresh questions about the United States' long-term strategy for its former Cold War foe.
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