Biden To Float Idea of Ceasefire As Tensions Mount

According to a recent Politico report, the Biden administration has been discussing different ways it could frame a proposal for a ceasefire to Ukraine.

Among the potential items that would be included in that proposal would be incentives given to Ukraine such as security guarantees, at a time when Ukraine may be worrying that it doesn’t have the ability to execute a full-fledged counteroffensive.

Repeatedly, the White House has said that it would remain committed to aiding Ukraine in its war against Russia for “as long as it takes.” Some comments made recently in both private and public, though, show that some Biden administration officials have some serious concerns about whether Ukraine will be able to recapture the territory that Russia has taken from it since back in 2014.

Citing different aides in the White House, Politico reported that the Biden administration is working on how to handle the criticism should Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive eventually fail. Part of that plan includes presenting Ukraine with a strategy that would include objectives that are pared down from before and that would include a “ceasefire” with Russia, rather than complete peace talks.

High-ranking officials in the U.S. believe that Ukraine is much more open to adjusting their goals, as they believe they could frame a potential ceasefire as an ultimate victory for the country, Politico reported.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has pledged that they would liberate Crimea out from Russia’s control, even as there are many concerns that loom among defense officials in western countries about whether Ukraine can actually accomplish this.

That being said, the Financial Times reported recently that Andriy Sybiha, the deputy head of the president’s office in Ukraine, suggested earlier this month that his country might be open to having a discussion about Crimea’s status with Russia if their forces were able to make it to the region’s border.

A leaked document from the Pentagon showed that Ukraine might be projected to fall “well short” of its stated objectives in a counteroffensive that would aim to recapture much territory that it has lost to Russia. The document sites concerns such as a shortage of ammunition as well as an issue with getting together enough troops to do the job.

The document concludes that a counteroffensive likely would only produce “modest territorial gains” for Ukraine.

The White House officials who spoke with Politico said that a proposal for a ceasefire would provide Ukraine with potential incentives. That might include providing them with security guarantees that would resemble those from NATO. 

It also might include economic assistance sent to them from the European Union, as well as other benefits and military aid. 

The high-ranking U.S. officials said that the White House is also hoping that China might be mobilized to try to get Russia to come and negotiate with Ukraine on a potential ceasefire should the U.S.-led effort work with Ukraine.