Wendy Sherman, top US diplomat, refused to reveal Joe Biden’s vision of Ukraine’s Russian “pullout”.
Last week, the US president stated for the first time since invasion of Ukraine that he would speak with Vladimir Putin if it was truly his desire to end the war.
He stated that there was only one way to end the war – the rational path. Putin will withdraw from Ukraine, number 1.
Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby asked Wendy Sherman, the US deputy secretary-of-state, if a “pullout” included withdrawal from Crimea. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.
She reminded the diplomat of Ukraine’s president Volodymyrzelskiy and asked if she supported his ambition.
Ms. Sherman said, however, that she supports President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people. We don’t have to decide at the end what a negotiated solution will look like. It’s up to the Ukrainians.”
Ms Sherman continued: “I believe that we have never said anything about Ukraine, except Ukraine and the United States.
“Great Britain and the United States have worked side-by-side on this project. I am truly grateful for all that Britain did to support the Ukrainians ….. We have much ahead of us.
“And what’s most important is that there’s only one aggressor, Vladimir Putin. And one victim, Ukraine.
“We have seen that the Ukrainians won’t be victims. They will fight for their country. We all support them in any way possible. If Vladimir Putin withdraws his troops, this could be over.
The history of Russia includes a large part of Crimea. Russia has never believed that the territory is not Russian.
Why is Crimea so Important to Russia?
Moscow does not appear to be willing to relinquish its control over Crimea.
Since the beginning of the fighting, the Kremlin has been insisting that Ukraine accept Russian terms to end it. This is now its 10th month.
It demanded that Kyiv recognize Crimea as part Russia and other annexations made by Moscow.
These conditions were repeatedly rejected by Mr Zelenskyy, his officials, and others. They said that the war would end when the occupied territories have been retaken or Russian forces are removed from them.
Last month, Volodymyr Havrylov, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, stated to Sky News that Ukrainian forces might be back in Crimea by December.