Liberal Democrats urge Biden to shift Ukraine strategy | CNN Politics

CNN — More than 20 progressive lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden to seek direct diplomacy with Russia to reorient Ukraine’s strategy and end the months-long conflict. In a letter to Biden on Monday, 30 Democrats praised Biden’s efforts to support Ukraine while avoiding direct US intervention. However, he argues that a stronger attempt to end the war through diplomacy is needed to prevent a prolonged conflict. “Given the risks of the destruction and catastrophic escalation this war has created for Ukraine and the world, we also believe that the interests of Ukraine, the United States and the world are to avoid prolonged conflict,” the group said. , writes in a letter led by Pramila Jayapal, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “For this reason, we urge the United States to redouble its efforts to find a realistic truce framework by combining the military and economic support provided to Ukraine by the United States with active diplomatic initiatives.” The letter comes at a critical time in the war as Russia is increasingly targeting civilian infrastructure with a particular focus on shutting off electricity to Ukrainian citizens ahead of winter. In Congress, questions arose over the will of lawmakers to maintain massive financial and military aid to Ukraine. Some Republicans have threatened to cut aid to the country if they take control of Congress in November. The LDP says in a letter that a more direct attempt to engage Moscow in diplomacy is needed as the war continues. “Given the fact that Russia has decided to invade Ukraine illegally and absurdly and further illegally annex Ukrainian territory,” the lawmakers said, “we have no illusions that engagement with Russia will be difficult.” “But if there is a way to end the war while maintaining a free and independent Ukraine, it is the responsibility of the United States to pursue all diplomatic means to support such a solution that is acceptable to the Ukrainian people.” The White House National Security Council (NSC) Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said the White House had received the letter. “We definitely appreciate the feelings these members expressed,” Kirby said. “We have been working with members of Parliament throughout this entire process, especially when additional funding is needed to support Ukraine’s defense needs,” Kirby said. “And it was done in full cooperation with members of Parliament in full transparency. That’s the way the President wants to keep going.” But Kirby said there were no signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin was willing to engage in serious diplomacy to end the war. “When you see and hear his investigations, it’s clear that Putin is not in the mood to negotiate, when you look at the atrocities, war crimes, and the raids on civilian infrastructure that are being carried out by Russians and other things.” said Kirby. When it comes time to return to the negotiating table, he said, it’s up to Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Mr. Zelensky thinks it’s the right time, and because Zelensky is his homeland, he decides what it’s like to be a success, what a win, and what terms to negotiate,” Kirby said. “We don’t dictate that. It won’t.”

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