Is the Russia-Ukraine conflict finally nearing a resolution?

According to NBC News, U.S. and European officials have quietly started talking to the Ukrainian government about possible peace negotiations with Russia.

“U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official,” the outlet wrote on social media.

Per NBC News:

The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said. Some of the talks, which officials described as delicate, took place last month during a meeting of representatives from more than 50 nations supporting Ukraine, including NATO members, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the officials said.

The discussions are an acknowledgment of the dynamics militarily on the ground in Ukraine and politically in the U.S. and Europe, officials said.

They began amid concerns among U.S. and European officials that the war has reached a stalemate and about the ability to continue providing aid to Ukraine, officials said. Biden administration officials also are worried that Ukraine is running out of forces, while Russia has a seemingly endless supply, officials said. Ukraine is also struggling with recruiting and has recently seen public protests about some of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s open-ended conscription requirements.

And there is unease in the U.S. government with how much less public attention the war in Ukraine has garnered since the Israel-Hamas war began nearly a month ago, the officials said. Officials fear that shift could make securing additional aid for Kyiv more difficult.

This result couldn’t have been any more predictable.

Ukraine was never going to outlast Russia in a military conflict, regardless of the amount of aid funneled into the country from the United States and European nations.

Whatever peace negotiations are proposed now could have been discussed nearly two years ago.

“An absolutely brutal article where NATO is all but admitting they lost the war to Russia, and now must beg for peace, hoping Russia will be satisfied with 20% of Ukraine. There are now going to be many people pretending they were against this monstrosity all along: who weren’t,” Glenn Greenwald wrote.

“Another remarkable confessional by the MSM in which we learn that everything we were told over the last 5 months about Ukraine making progress in its Counteroffensive was a lie,” David Sacks commented.

“The Pentagon was confident a year ago that America would topple Putin and bring Russia to its knees. Now we tell Ukraine to sue for peace – after 500,000 people are dead. The hubris is unreal,” Emerald Robinson said.

“Two years and hundreds of thousands of casualties later, Ukraine will now have to beg for a deal Russia would’ve gladly agreed to before the war. We told you this would happen. Nothing went wrong, nothing could’ve gone differently, this was always going to happen and everyone w/half a brain could see that from day one. Shame on everyone who cheered on this unnecessary slaughter,” Martyr Made commented.

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“US and EU officials have come to the same conclusion we came to in March 2022 when negotiations were on the table. But 10s of thousands had to die so Blinken’s clients at WestExec and Nuland’s funders at CNAS could make record profits, and bc the neocons believed their own lies,” Max Blumenthal wrote.

Blumenthal noted negotiations were on the table in March 2022.

He’s possibly referring to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s claims that the United States disrupted peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in March 2022.

United States Thwarted Russia-Ukraine Peace Negotiations?

In a lengthy interview with German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, Schröder said the United States government did not allow a peace agreement.

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From Berliner Zeitung (translated):

In 2022 I received a request from Ukraine as to whether I could mediate between Russia and Ukraine. The question was whether I could convey a message to Putin. Someone would also come along who had a very close relationship with the Ukrainian president himself. That was Rustem Umyerov, Ukraine’s current defense minister. He is a member of the Crimean Tatar minority. Then the question was: How to end the war?

How?

There are five points. First: Ukraine’s renunciation of NATO membership. Ukraine cannot meet the conditions anyway. Second: the problem of language. The Ukrainian parliament has abolished bilingualism. That has to be changed. Third: Donbass remains part of Ukraine. But Donbass needs greater autonomy. A working model would be that of South Tyrol. Fourth: Ukraine also needs security guarantees. The United Nations Security Council plus Germany should provide these guarantees. Fifth: Crimea. How long has Crimea been Russian? For Russia, Crimea is more than just a region, but part of its history. The war could be ended if geopolitical interests were not at play.

And international law.

Yes, but this is not just a legal question. The only people who could settle the war against Ukraine are the Americans. At the peace negotiations in March 2022 in Istanbul with Rustem Umjerov, the Ukrainians did not agree to peace because they were not allowed to. They first had to ask the Americans about everything they discussed. I had two conversations with Umyerov, then a one-on-one conversation with Putin and then with Putin’s envoy. Umyerov opened the conversation with greetings from Zelensky. The Austrian model or the 5+1 model was proposed as a compromise for Ukraine’s security guarantees. Umjerow thought that was good. He also showed willingness on the other points. He also said that Ukraine does not want NATO membership. He also said that Ukraine wants to reintroduce Russian in Donbass. But in the end nothing happened. My impression: Nothing could happen because everything else was decided in Washington. That was fatal. Because the result will now be that Russia will be tied more closely to China, which the West should not want.

And the Europeans?

You have failed. There would have been a window in March 2022. Ukrainians were ready to talk about Crimea. Even the Bild newspaper confirmed this at the time.

( Gerhard Schröder shows a page from the BILD newspaper with the title “Peace finally in sight?” It says: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj (44) himself had already indicated concessions for negotiations: he is no longer insisting on NATO – His country’s accession, he told the US broadcaster ABC. And he was also ready for a ‘compromise’ about Crimea and the breakaway provinces in Donbass. ‘In every negotiation, my goal is to end the war with Russia,’ he said Zelenskyj to BILD.”)

According to Ukraine, the Bucha massacres committed by the Russians led to the end of the negotiations.

Nothing was known about Butscha during the talks with Umjerov on March 7th and 13th. I think the Americans didn’t want the compromise between Ukraine and Russia. The Americans believe they can keep the Russians down. Now it is the case that two actors, China and Russia, who are limited by the USA , are joining forces. Americans believe they are strong enough to keep both sides in check. In my humble opinion, this is a mistake. Just look at how torn the American side is now. Look at the chaos in Congress.

The Americans overestimated themselves?

That’s what I’m expecting.

Do you think your peace plan can be resumed?

Yes. And the only ones who can initiate this are France and Germany.

But how can you trust the Russians? In January 2022 it was said that the Russians did not want a war with Ukraine. Then, when the Russians invaded Donbass, it was said that the Russians didn’t want to go to Kiev. All of these promises have been broken. Why shouldn’t we be afraid that the Russians will go further and further?

We have no threat. This fear of the Russians coming is absurd. How are they supposed to defeat NATO, let alone occupy Western Europe?

They have almost come to Kiev.

What do the Russians want? Status quo in Donbass and Crimea. Not more. I think it was a fatal mistake that Putin started the war. It is clear to me that Russia feels threatened. Look: Turkey is a NATO member. There are missiles that can reach Moscow directly. The USA wanted to bring NATO to Russia’s western border, with Ukraine as a new member, for example. All of this felt like a threat to the Russians. There are also irrational points of view. I don’t want to deny that. The Russians responded with a mix of both: fear and forward defense. That’s why no one in Poland, the Baltics, and certainly not in Germany – all NATO members, by the way – has to believe they are in danger. The Russians would not start a war with any NATO member.

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