WH denies report of Russia talks, vows 'unwavering' support to Ukraine
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said of the report that this is just one of many standard hoaxes that are frequently published by Anglo-Saxon newspapers.
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre denied on Monday reports that the US and Russia were carrying out confidential talks on a potential solution to the Ukraine conflict, confirming that the US reserves the right to hold discussions at a senior level with Russia over risk reduction.
Referring to a report of undisclosed conversations with Russia, Jean-Pierre said, "People claim a lot of things about conversations that the US has or doesn't have. I don't have any specific conversations [between Washington and Moscow] to read out to you."
The report in question specifically refers to one issued by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday which stated the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan carried out a series of confidential talks in recent weeks with Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
According to the report, the objective has been to prevent the risk of escalation and maintain open lines of communication rather than to seek a resolution to end the war in Ukraine.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Moscow is not certain of whether media reports about the US encouraging Ukraine to negotiate with Russia are true, adding that truthful reports emerge at times, but most of them are mere speculations.
"We do not know whether this is true or not, because I repeat, there are truthful reports, but most reports are absolute speculation or pure lies. So, we are not able to comment on [the reports about the US asking Ukraine to negotiate with Russia] without being sure that this, indeed, is true," Peskov told reporters.
The news of such reports comes in light of statements delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin who said on September 27, "In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line."
"This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them."
The US deliberately contacts Moscow to keep lines of communication open
In a related context, and in stark contrast with the White House statement, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday that the US and Russia were maintaining active communications on a near-daily basis.
"The United States, as a responsible country, we have an obligation to maintain channels of communication with Russia," Price said during a press briefing.
"We have a functioning embassy in Moscow. We speak to the Russians via the embassy virtually every day, if not, in fact, every day. We speak consistently. We pass messages via the Russian Embassy here in Washington."
Price added that the US acts deliberately to make sure the lines of communication with Russia remain open.
According to the Spokesperson, the US and Russia discuss several issues of concern, which include detained citizens, the status of the embassy, and de-escalation.
Price further claimed that the US has called on Russia to seek a solution to the Ukraine conflict via diplomatic means.
US will remain committed to 'unwavering' support to Ukraine - even if Republicans win midterms
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the US will remain committed to providing Ukraine with 'unwavering' support even if the Republicans win the congressional midterm elections on November 8.
Some reports have in recent weeks revealed that if Republicans were to win the midterm elections, support for Ukraine will be brutally slashed down.
"We are confident the US' support will be unflinching and will be unwavering," adding that President Joe Biden is "committed to work in a bipartisan fashion, as he has been doing, to support Ukraine."
However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), who is currently leading the race to become House of Representatives speaker, said Republicans will not write a “blank check” for Ukraine if his party wins the House majority, adding that "people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine."
"They just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check," those last two words were sufficient enough to send shivers down Zelensky's spine.
Republicans have recently expanded in size and strength in light of growing inflation, the immigration crisis, and the excruciating amounts of aid supplied to Ukraine.
Some divisions remain within the GOP with regard to funding Ukraine. For instance, the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnel, pledged that he will outstrip Biden in his support for Ukraine.
I was so disgusted reading that Mitch McConnel will continue funding Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/wOuuDjAEeZ— Catherine (@Katya1943) October 21, 2022
Likewise, former Vice President Mike Pence said in October that the US should not back away from supporting Ukraine "until peace is restored."