Pressure is mounting on the US President to alter his strategy over the conflict in Ukraine as a number of radical Democrats in Congress sent a letter to the White House. The letter, which was sent on Monday by 30 House Democrats, warned the President that the expenditure being spent on supporting Kyiv needs to be paralleled with further engagement with Russia in an attempt to end the conflict.
Senior Republicans have warned Congress that if the polls are correct and the GOP takes over the House, it will be difficult for Congress to continue its full support of Ukraine.
The House Democrats’ letter said: “As legislators responsible for the expenditure of tens of billions of US taxpayer dollars in military assistance…we believe such involvement in this war also creates a responsibility for the United States to seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia”.
The letter was signed by “the Squad”, a group of radical congresswomen and lawmakers which include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley.
Their letter warned that open channels of communication with the Kremlin may be able “to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement”.
The suggestion of using “all possible avenues” includes “incentives to end hostilities, including some form of sanctions relief”, the letter stated.
It also suggested the use of an international agreement which could “establish security guarantees for a free and independent Ukraine that are acceptable for all parties”.
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However, he added that the decision to directly engage with Putin was a decision for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, not the Biden administration.
Kirby said: “[Zelensky] does not believe it is time now to sit down and have a negotiation with Mr Putin.
“What we’re going to stay focused on is making sure that he and his troops can succeed on the battlefield so that if and when it comes time to sit down at the table, Mr Zelensky can succeed.”