Officials in the US are planning steps in connection with the growing possibility that Russia’s war against Ukraine will turn into a state of “frozen conflict” that could last many years, possibly decades. The situation may turn out to be similar, including the one that developed on the Korean Peninsula, Politico writes on Thursday, citing sources.
Options discussed by the administration of US President Joe Biden in the event of a long-term “freeze” include, in particular, the question of where the demarcation lines will be located, which Ukraine and Russia agree not to cross, but which should not be official borders. Discussions, although preliminary, are ongoing in various American departments and in the White House.
The discussed scenario may turn out to be the most realistic, given that neither Kyiv nor Moscow are ever inclined to admit defeat. It also becomes increasingly likely against the background of the growing feeling in the US administration that the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive will not deal a fatal blow to Russia, the article says.
One of the publication’s sources, familiar with the arrangements in the Biden administration, said that long-term planning is now increasingly in the center of attention, whereas last month everything was connected with urgent and short-term tasks.
Two other American officials and a former employee of the Biden administration confirmed that a long-term “freeze” of hostilities is one of the possibilities that Washington is preparing for. The US leadership will also consider long-term security ties with Kyiv, as well as Ukraine’s relationship with the NATO military alliance.
An employee of the US Department of Defense noted in an interview with Politico that the composition of recent packages of military aid to Ukraine reflects the transition of the Joe Biden administration to a more long-term strategy. The amount of equipment transferred to Kyiv has steadily decreased over the past few months, while aid packages used for the purchase of new weapons in industry, on the contrary, have increased, the publication notes in this regard.
- In a recent interview with the BBC, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that he believes in the success of the Ukrainian army. “I believe that we are capable of achieving success on the battlefield… so that there is no stagnation… which can lead to a frozen conflict,” UNIAN quotes Zelensky. At the same time, the Ukrainian leader emphasized that the “freezing” of the war “will only give Russia time for rest and preparation of the already defeated army on Ukrainian soil.”
- The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that they are not ready to make any territorial concessions in contacts with Russia.