More than two dozen liberal members of the House are requesting US President Joe Biden to change course in his strategy for Ukraine.
Instead, they suggest that he pursue direct diplomacy with Russia to end the conflict that’s been going on for months.
A group of 30 Democrats sent a letter to Biden earlier this week.
They praised the President’s efforts to support Ukraine without direct US involvement.
However, they propose more vigorous efforts to end the war through diplomacy, believing it necessary to avoid lengthy conflict.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal led the group and helped with the letter.
“Given the destruction created by this war for Ukraine and the world, as well as the risk of catastrophic escalation,” the letter began.
“We also believe it is in the interest of Ukraine, the United States, and the world to avoid a prolonged conflict.”
“For this reason, we urge you to pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to see a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”
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The letter was written at a crucial time in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Russia is targeting more civilian infrastructure to cut off power to Ukrainian citizens before winter.
Meanwhile, US lawmakers are questioning Ukraine’s continued financial and military support.
Some Republicans threatened to halt aid if they win Congress in the November elections.
However, Liberal Democrats argue that direct attempts to involve Moscow in diplomacy were necessary during the war.
They also raise it in the letter.
“We are under no illusions regarding the difficulties involved in engaging Russia given its outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine and its decision to make additional illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.”
“However, if there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine,” the letter continued.
“It is America’s responsibility to pursue every diplomatic avenue to support such a solution that is acceptable to the people of Ukraine.”
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Russia and Ukraine
John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator at the National Security Council, confirmed that the White House received the letter.
“We certainly appreciate the sentiments expressed by these members of Congress,” said Kirby.
“We have been working with members of Congress throughout this entire process, especially when we have needed additional funding to support Ukraine’s defense needs.”
John Kirby says there is no sign that Russian President Vladimir Putin will engage in serious diplomacy to end the war.
“When you see and listen to his rhetoric, and you see the other things,” Kirby started.
“Be they atrocities, the war crimes, the airstrikes against civilian infrastructures that the Russians are committing; it’s clear Mr. Putin is in no mood to negotiate.”
John Kirby says it’s up to the country and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to decide when to return to negotiating.
“Mr. Zelensky gets to determine when he thinks that’s the right time,” he elaborated.
“[And] Mr. Zelensky gets to determine because it’s his country, what success looks like, what victory looks like, and what sort of terms he’s willing to negotiate on.”
“We’re not going to dictate that,” Kirby concluded.
Liberal Democrats call on Biden to shift Ukraine strategy
Image source: CNN