Two dozen liberal House members have called on President Joe Biden to reverse course on his Ukraine strategy and pursue direct diplomacy. Russia to end the months-long conflict.
In A letter Sent to Biden on Monday, 30 Democrats praised Biden’s efforts to date in supporting Ukraine while avoiding direct U.S. involvement on the ground. But they suggest that a much stronger effort to end the war through diplomacy is necessary to prevent a protracted and protracted conflict.
“Given the devastation this war has created for Ukraine and the world and the risk of escalation, we believe it is in the interests of Ukraine, the United States, and the world to avoid a protracted conflict,” the letter, led by Congress Progressive Party President Pramila Jayapal, reads. “For this reason, we urge you to couple the military and economic support provided by the United States to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push.
The letter comes at a critical moment in the war, with Russia targeting civilian infrastructure with a particular focus on cutting off electricity supplies to Ukrainian citizens ahead of winter.
In Congress, questions have grown about lawmakers’ willingness to maintain the massive financial and military support that has gone to Ukraine. Some Republicans have threatened to cut aid to the country if they take over Congress in November.
The Liberal Democrats, in their letter, say direct efforts to engage Moscow diplomatically are necessary as the war drags on.
“We are under no illusions about the difficulties of engaging Russia based on its outrageous and illegal aggression and its decision to annex additional Ukrainian territory,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, if there is a way to end the war while preserving a free and independent Ukraine, it is the responsibility of the United States to pursue every diplomatic avenue to support such a solution acceptable to the people of Ukraine.”
John Kirby, the National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, said the White House had received the letter.
“We certainly appreciate the sentiments expressed by these members of Congress,” Kirby said.
“We have been working with members of Congress throughout this entire process, especially when additional funding is needed to support Ukraine’s security needs,” Kirby said. “And it was done in full cooperation with members of Congress in full transparency. That’s what the president wants to continue moving forward.
Still, Kirby said there are no signs Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to engage in serious diplomacy to end the war.
“When you see and hear his rhetoric and other things, it’s clear that Mr. Putin is in no mood to negotiate when the Russians are committing atrocities, war crimes, airstrikes against civilian infrastructure.” Kirby said.
He said that when the time is right to return to the negotiating table, it will be up to Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Mr. Zelensky decides when he thinks the time is right, and Mr. Zelensky decides, because it’s his country, what victory looks like, what victory looks like, what kind of terms he’s willing to negotiate,” Kirby said. “We’re not going to dictate that. .”