US not ready to predict terms of Ukraine peace settlement: Sullivan
The conflict will eventually have to end at the negotiating table, the National Security Advisor said.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the US is still not ready to predict when peace talks to settle the conflict in Ukraine are due to start.
"Well, I'm not going to put a timetable on it because, as you know, war is unpredictable," Sullivan told CNN in an interview, adding that events currently taking place on the battleground will determine how the talks will play out.
However, he noted, the conflict will eventually have to end at the negotiating table.
Sullivan added that the US plans to assist Kiev with as much progress as it requires on the battlefield to enable the regime to have a higher ground on future peace talks.
"We do believe that this counteroffensive will allow Ukraine to take strategically significant territory back from Russia," Sullivan said.
White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said on Friday that the conflict in Ukraine will not be ending with a "simple withdrawal" of Russian troops from the former Ukrainian territories.
"We all want to see the war end, and we all understand that it’s not going to end by a simple withdrawal of Russian troops," Kirby told reporters during a press briefing, noting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has voiced an interest in "going on the offense" and that the scheduling of any offensive will be determined by Ukraine’s choosing.
US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday that the conflict in Ukraine could lead up to NATO and US troops' direct involvement on the ground if Kiev is unsuccessful in "defeating" Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I want to end the war in Ukraine by defeating Putin. If you don’t, he keeps going, and we’re going to have a conflict between NATO and Russia, and our troops will be involved," Graham said during remarks on the Senate floor.