Biden administration National Security Council Strategic Communications Director John Kirby said the White House would not back a proposal for peace in Ukraine if it is the outcome of this week’s summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Jinping is visiting Russia this week for a three-day stay, the first of its type since the beginning of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine last year. Rumors swirl that Jinping and Putin are expected to announce an outline for peace in Ukraine.
Kirby, speaking officially on behalf of the White House, told Fox News that the United States would refuse to back this potential peace plan, as it would likely entail Russia maintaining its territorial gains from the conflict.
“What we have said before, and we’ll say it again today, that if coming out of this meeting, there’s some sort of call for a ceasefire, well, that’s just going to be unacceptable,” Kirby declared. “All that’s going to do, is ratify Russia’s conquest to date. All that’s going to do is give Mr. Putin more time to refit, retrain, reman, and try to plan for renewed offensives at a time of his choosing.”
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Biden administration Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this official White House position earlier today.
“The world should not be moved by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms,” asserted Blinken.
NOW – Blinken: "The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms." pic.twitter.com/ECqZuCle0r
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) March 20, 2023
At press time, the first day of meetings has started. No potential peace agreement has been mentioned to the public, however, Jinping is reportedly attempting to cast himself as a “peacebroker” internationally.
Reports indicate that Jinping referenced Ukraine publicly during his first public meeting with Putin, who insisted that Russia is “always open to the negotiation process.” Ukraine and its Western allies previously cut all negotiations with Russia early last year.
“We studied closely your proposals on the settlement on the acute crisis in Ukraine,” Jinping told Putin, according to CNN. Putin replied that the topic of peace would be discussed.
“Of course, we will have an opportunity to discuss this issue. We know that you are based on the principles of justice and commitment to the fundamental points of international law,” Putin said. “We will certainly discuss all these issues, including your initiative.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko seemed to indicate that Ukraine would be open to a peace brokered by China.
“We expect Beijing to use its influence on Moscow to make it put an end to the aggressive war against Ukraine,” said Nikolenko, before stressing that Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” should be a key part of any negotiations.
“We stand ready to engage in a closer dialogue with China in order to restore peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, and the latest UNGA resolution on this matter.”