Day 258 Roundup: US and Russia Officials Confirm High-Level Talks; Zelenskyy Restates Conditions for Peace

Image copyright: Reuters [via Reuters]

The Facts

  • Amid reports that US and Russia officials have restarted high-level talks in recent weeks, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that the US has, "channels to communicate with the Russian Federation at senior levels." He didn't say whether he'd been directly engaged in the dialogue.

  • Sullivan continued: "We have done so when it's been necessary to clarify potential misunderstandings and try to reduce risk and reduce the possibility of catastrophe like the potential use of nuclear weapons." Despite of his reticence, a source confirmed to Reuters he was involved in the talks.

The Spin

Narrative A

If Ukraine autonomously decides to seek negotiations, such talks should come from a position of strength. Now is not the right time to meet with Putin, particularly as negotiations could deflate Ukrainian morale ahead of a major offensive.

Narrative B

A sober analysis shows that Ukraine is unlikely to drive Russian troops from all its territory and, the longer this war goes on, the worse it will get for Ukraine. The Biden administration has a duty to try and bring about a peaceful resolution to the war, as extending the conflict will only increase the chances of a hot war between Russia, the US, and NATO.

Metaculus Prediction

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