If Ukraine wants to cede territory to negotiate an end to its conflict with Russia, Washington will respect kyiv’s choice, US President Joe Biden told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.
When asked if President Volodymyr Zelensky should cede land to secure a ceasefire, or if such a move was out of the question, Biden said it was “a total judgment based on Ukraine.”
“I don’t think they’re going to have to do that,” he said, but he noted that “Discussions took place in which I did not participate.” He was presumably referring to talks between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators.
“Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine”, Biden told reporters, referring to the slogan the United States adopted during the crisis. “It’s their judgment to make.”
The US President also said that NATO “to respond” if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, but he would not say how this would manifest. Washington and its allies have claimed in recent days that Moscow may be preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. Russia rejected these claims and retorted that kyiv could plan a “false flag” put the blame on Moscow and trigger a NATO intervention.
Biden has admitted that US-led sanctions against Russia – joined so far by NATO, Japan, Australia and South Korea – will lead to global food shortages, but stressed that states United States and Canada are major sources of wheat and are exploring ways to increase production and exports.
He said NATO and the EU were working to set up an organization that would track other countries violating their sanctions. Biden added that he had warned China against aiding Russia because it would put its economic interests in the West at risk. “significant harm”.
“China understands that its economic future is much more closely tied to the West than to Russia,” Biden told reporters.
The US president insisted that the sanctions were never intended as a deterrent, but to maintain NATO unity, which he called the most important thing right now.
Moscow attacked Ukraine in late February, after a seven-year standoff over kyiv’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and end the conflict with the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia eventually recognized the two independent states, at which point they requested military aid.
Russia demands that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two Donbas republics by force.
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