By Beatriz Pascual Macias |
Washington (EFE) eventual negotiation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
The plans of the Joe Biden government, however, are imbued with a new urgency as the Republican opposition controls the Lower House after its victory in the November elections and some of its more conservative members want to cut aid to Ukraine.
The United States is the country that has delivered the most military aid to Ukraine since the start of the war. So far, it has approved 30,000 million dollars, the equivalent of the Gross Domestic Product of El Salvador or Iceland.
There is also some fear that the unity of Europe will crack as the contest drags on, although for now the Western coalition “remains strong,” a high-ranking US official assured a small group of journalists, including EFE.
With that in mind, the United States is hopeful that Ukraine can make significant battlefield gains this spring and be in a better position to open some kind of negotiations with Russia, though that step still seems a long way off.
Force Putin to negotiate
Washington’s idea, according to the aforementioned official, is to continue arming Zelensky and imposing sanctions to eventually drag Putin to the negotiating table.
However, many analysts believe that neither Ukraine nor Russia are willing to talk and warn that the war could drag on for months or even years.
On the one hand, according to NATO, Russia has already launched a major offensive in Ukraine with the mobilization of thousands of soldiers with the aim of conquering the entire Donbas, in the east, and seizing Bakhmut from the Ukrainians, one of the cities in that region and that it is in ruins due to the constant bombardments.
In addition, Russia has increased its presence in the Black Sea, which could point to a new offensive in the south; and Ukraine is concerned that thousands of Russian soldiers could cross into its territory through Belarus with the aim of taking kyiv, as they did without success a year ago.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian forces are preparing to repel the Russian attacks and NATO is doing everything possible so that the promised tanks arrive in Ukraine and air defenses are reinforced with systems such as the Patriot, although the agreement has not yet been approved. combat aircraft dispatch.
Regarding peace, Zelensky presented a ten-point decalogue at the G20 last year, which Moscow has dismissed as absurd, and has insisted that it will not stop until it recovers 100% of the Ukrainian territory, including the Crimean peninsula, which Russia it was annexed in 2014.
The Biden government has avoided making an explicit commitment to the defense of Crimea, although it continues to condemn its annexation by Moscow, and has repeated on several occasions that it is the Ukrainians who must decide the face of peace.
The possibility of a frozen conflict
Washington is preparing for the possibility of a stalemate, in which the two sides continue to lose and gain territory until they reach an impasse, at which point some kind of truce could occur.
This scenario would resemble the current situation between North Korea and South Korea with a coexistence based on an armistice but without a peace treaty, William Taylor, former US ambassador to Ukraine and vice president of the Russia program, told EFE. and Europe at the US Institute of Peace.
According to the former ambassador, Ukraine could thus control 80% of its territory and Russia occupy the remaining 20%.
Another possible scenario, though less likely, is “a short war” with Ukrainian forces once again exceeding expectations and recapturing occupied areas, while the Russian military collapses, Taylor explained.
However, if the situation were reversed and the Russian forces defeated the Ukrainian ones, it is very possible that a guerrilla group with former Ukrainian soldiers would emerge to fight against the occupation, retired Colonel Liam Collins, executive director of the think tank, told EFE. Madison Policy Forum.
For now, while all these scenarios are being discussed among Washington political circles, the Biden government is concentrating on sanctions against Russia and aid to Ukraine.
In fact, days before or after the anniversary of the invasion, on February 24, the United States plans to announce more military assistance to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, a new blow to the Kremlin that will be added to the sanctions that it will also impose on those dates. the European Union.