The administration of US President Joe Biden is preparing for a possible “freeze” of the conflict in Ukraine, in which it could drag on for years or decades and become similar to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. This is reported by the newspaper Politico, citing sources.
The publication notes that it implies the definition of borders (perhaps even conditional), which Ukraine and Russia would undertake not to cross.
The scenario for the development of the conflict in Ukraine, following the example of the Korean War, is the most realistic, Politico emphasizes, since neither side of the conflict intends to admit defeat.
Korean-style “freeze” is certainly something that has been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government. This is plausible because neither side should recognize any new borders, and the only thing that will need to be agreed upon is to stop shooting along the established line, ”a former Biden administration official told Politico.
The Korean War is still not officially over, although 70 years ago there was a truce and active hostilities ended. The newspaper points out that unlike the conflict in Ukraine, the United States took part in the fighting on the peninsula and still keeps thousands of soldiers in South Korea.
“Hot” will be for a long time
“We are planning for the long term, regardless of whether it [the conflict in Ukraine] looks frozen or thawed,” the publication quotes the words a source who is familiar with the discussions in the White House.
He said that the administration is prioritizing long-term planning, although in previous months it was about “urgent or short-term” plan.
The newspaper believes that the US focus on prolonged hostilities could undermine Kyiv’s confidence in Washington’s continued support, especially since some representatives of the Republican Party are going to weaken assistance to the Ukrainian side in the future.
However, US officials noted that the Biden administration believes that the conflict will be in a “hot” phase for a long time to come. The Americans intend to continue to support Kyiv in the matter of supplying weapons so that the Armed Forces of Ukraine “force out” the Russian army from as large territories as possible.
But the counter-offensive, sources say, in this case will be ineffective – it “will not inflict a mortal blow on Russia.”
The conflict is expected to reach a stalemate in the medium term: fighting will continue, but neither side will make significant progress.
Also considered a “war of attrition” where both opponents try to hit each other hard in the hope that it will lead to victory. “War of attrition” and full mobilization. US intelligence cites scenarios for the development of the conflict in Ukraine US intelligence does not expect peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in 2023, reported…
Another assumption regarding the development of the special operation concerns internal and international pressure on Moscow and Kyiv, which will intensify if the conflict continues for a long time. The American authorities believe that Ukraine and Russia will be pushed to conclude an agreement in order to stop hostilities.
One of the publication’s sources, a senior official in the administration of the American leader, believes that Washington is sure only that Russia “will not conquer” Ukraine.
The EU and Ukraine are against a “freeze”
The “freeze” of the Ukrainian conflict does not at all correspond to the interests of any EU country, Marcin Przydacz, head of the International Policy Bureau of the Office of the President of Poland, said on the air of the radio station Zet. According to him, European politicians fear that the conflict in Ukraine may be “frozen” and periodically it may be “unfrozen”. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also spoke about the fact that Ukraine will not go to the “freeze”.
On May 17, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui held talks.
“Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine does not accept any proposals that provide for the loss of its territories or the freezing of the conflict,” TASS quotes the statement of the Ukrainian department following the meeting.
Moscow is ready for negotiations
On May 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed the opinion that the United States in the foreseeable future is not ready for constructive actions related to the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, “which they they themselves created for many years, and created in the context of their strategic course.
The day before, Lavrov once again recalled the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stated that Moscow is “open to diplomacy, with the understanding that it will be serious.” But so far, the Russian Foreign Ministry does not see “any serious proposals from Western colleagues.”
“[Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky himself says: “whom should I talk to in Moscow.” Just the other day, he once again confirmed this. Not to mention the fact that last year he adopted a decree prohibiting negotiations with the Russian Federation. And when we hear moaning from Washington, Brussels, London that Russia is not at all interested in any peace initiatives,” Lavrov said.
The Russian diplomat reminded that Western countries, like Ukraine, do not want to consider other peace plans, except for the Ukrainian one. For example, China‘s peace plan is not taken into account. According to Lavrov, this is happening because Russia has said that it can be discussed.
“It is directly declared that Russia does not want to negotiate on Zelensky’s terms, and there can be no other basis for negotiations, that the only plan that the West will promote is Zelensky’s ten-point plan,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.
Kyiv, within the framework of the plan, requires the complete withdrawal of Russian troops “from all the territory of Ukraine”, including Crimea. But Moscow insists that Ukraine recognize “new territorial realities”, that is, the entry of the regions of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions into Russia.