Ukraine’s Zelenskyy Says He’s Open To Negotiations With Russia

(Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signaled a willingness to consider negotiations with Russia after it was reported Washington has urged Ukraine to ease up on its hard line against negotiations with Russia on Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking ahead of his video address to the global climate summit held in Egypt, Zelenskyy laid out several conditions for returning to the negotiating table with Moscow, including respecting Ukraine’s pre-war borders, offering reparations for the damage done to Kyiv and prosecuting those who have committed war crimes, according to the WSJ. The U.S. urged Kyiv to maintain a public appearance of openness to negotiating with Russia, even while acknowledging Russian leaders will not agree to withdrawal from occupied areas of Ukraine, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

“One more time: restoration of territorial integrity, respect for the U.N. charter, compensation for all material losses caused by the war, punishment for every war criminal and guarantees that this does not happen again,” Zelenskyy said, according to the WSJ. “Those are completely understandable conditions.” (RELATED: Will The US Ditch Ukraine If Republicans Take Congress?)

“Anyone who treats seriously the climate agenda should just as seriously treat the necessity of immediately stopping Russian aggression, resuming our territorial integrity and forcing Russia into genuine peace talks,” he added.

U.S. leaders have reiterated that Ukraine has the final word on negotiating terms, according to the WSJ. Kyiv previously insisted no further talks could happen unless new leadership took over at the Kremlin.

Encouragement to keep an open posture toward negotiating with Russia is intended to secure the lasting support of allies, officials familiar with the matter told the Post. Many governments, including the United States, face growing opposition from constituencies concerned that funding the Ukrainian resistance could deepen economic hardships as inflation refuses to let up and food shortages loom.

“Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners,” one of the officials told the Post. U.S. leaders have pledged to support Ukraine “for the long haul.”

Zelenskyy also on Monday urged “unwavering unity” in the U.S. until Ukraine sees “peace restored,” according to AFP, as the U.S. will see votes cast for midterm elections Tuesday evening.

U.S. support for Ukraine could dip if the GOP achieves a majority in the House and Senate after the elections, a possibility increasingly on the table as Republican favorability rose in pre-election polls. Republicans have been more willing than their Democratic counterparts in Congress to express skepticism about the logic behind weapons transfers, and Republican voters consistently fall lower than Democrats in the opinion polls measuring willingness to support Ukraine.

However, Republican leaders have doubled down on their stance in support for Ukraine.

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