US opposes ceasefire in Ukraine: White House
NSCSC John Kirby raised reporters' attention to the possibility that the Russian pilots who damaged the US MQ-9 drone two days ago did not intentionally do so purposefully.
National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said on Thursday that the US does not support an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine under a China-proposed peace strategy.
The reason is that proceeding with China's peace plan would constitute a violation of the UN charter by Russia, Kirby said.
"While [a ceasefire] sounds perfectly reasonable, and it sounds like a good thing, a ceasefire right now would basically ratify Russia's conquest. It would, in effect, recognize Russia's gains and all of its attempts to conquer its neighbors territory by force. So a ceasefire, right now, in our view, would constitute another continued violation of the UN charter by Russia," Kirby said during a press briefing.
On February 24, China issued a 12-point position paper on Ukraine that highlighted all the steps required to reach a "political settlement".
These include respecting the sovereignty of all countries, abandoning the Cold War mentality, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and POWs, keeping nuclear power plants safe, reducing strategic risks, facilitating grain exports, stopping unilateral sanctions, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and promoting post-conflict reconstruction.
Because the plan did not specify that Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine, the West accused China of an attempt to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty at the expense of Russia's.
Beijing has already dismissed these claims as false, with top diplomat Wang Yi saying China will continue to stand firmly on the side of dialogue and peace, and will not seek to fuel escalations nor remain a bystander.
"Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis," the document reads, adding that China will play a "constructive role," without offering details.
Read more: US is constantly trying to escalate: Lavrov
Russian pilot may not have intended to destroy MQ-9 drone
On another note, Kirby raised reporters' attention to the possibility that the Russian pilots who damaged the US MQ-9 drone two days ago did not intentionally do so purposefully.
"It is entirely possible that the pilot did not mean to destroy the drone," Kirby said.
On March 14, the US European Command claimed that a Russian fighter jet dumped fuel on an American drone over the Black Sea and then collided with it, causing the drone to crash. The White House called the crash a result of "reckless" behavior by Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied US allegations and said its fighter jets did not come into contact with the US MQ-9 drone that crashed into the Black Sea earlier, pointing out that the drone crashed due to "sharp maneuvering".
On March 15, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that the US still unsure if the downing of a US drone over the Black Sea was intentional.
"So, was it intentional or not? Don't know yet. We know that the intercept was intentional. We know that the aggressive behavior was intentional. We also know it was very unprofessional and very unsafe," Milley said during a press briefing.