In Ukraine, US fears 'unacceptable' ceasefire
As Russia and China discuss a peace plan for Ukraine, the White House declares that any lull in the fight would be "unacceptable" and even illegal.
The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow brings together the two states that the United States deems as its top strategic rivals. It has also crystallized what the US currently deems as a top strategic threat: the prospect of a halt to the proxy war in Ukraine.
“If coming out of this meeting, there’s some sort of call for a ceasefire, well, that’s just going to be unacceptable,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby declared. For Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a Ukraine ceasefire would not only be unacceptable, but illegal. “The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia supported by China, or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms,” Blinken said. “Such a move would violate the UN charter.”
The US argues that any ceasefire would consolidate Russia’s battlefield gains and allow it to prepare for a major spring offensive. While plausible, what happens after a ceasefire is not pre-ordained. A halt to the fighting in Ukraine could be followed by serious negotiations to end the war permanently, provided that all warring parties engage in good faith efforts toward that goal. As its top diplomat has newly made clear, the Biden administration is clearly in no mood to give diplomacy even a cursory try.
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