Top US general suggests how Ukraine conflict should end
Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine would be a “logical choice” to end the conflict, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday.
In an interview with Fox News, Milley was asked about likely outcomes of the fighting between Moscow and Kiev.
“Now you’ve got a very significant operational fight going on in the Donbass between the Ukrainian and the Russian militaries. How that shapes up in the next few weeks will probably in large part shape the outcomes of what will happen,” he said.
According to the general, the conflict “could end up as a grind and go on and on; [it could end up in] a stalemate; it could end up with one side or the other having a decisive victory; it could end up in a peace negotiation.”
Milley later insisted that “a negotiated outcome is a logical choice, but both sides have to come to that conclusion on their own.”
“There's always a possibility of escalation. And we have to closely manage the escalation... and prevent this thing from expanding into something much more horrific than it already is,” he warned.
The general was also asked to comment on his recent statement that it was up to Kiev to decide how to eventually settle its differences with Moscow.
“This is a war between Ukraine and Russia. How this ends on the battlefield is going to be determined by President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and President (Vladimir) Putin,” he said.
Washington has been actively backing Kiev during the conflict, supplying it with weapons, funds and intelligence. Earlier the month, US President Joe Biden approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.
Moscow says US assistance to Kiev has only escalated and prolonged the fighting. Last month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the conflict in Ukraine as a proxy war waged by the US-led NATO alliance against Russia.
Milley isn’t the only notable Western figure to call for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict in recent days, amid a steady Russian advancement in the Donbass and claims by Ukrainian officials that the situation on the ground is “extremely bad” for Kiev.
On Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc should increase deliveries of weapons to Ukraine and apply even more sanctions against Russia to help Kiev gain the upper hand in future peace talks with Moscow. Just over a month ago, Borrell was insisting that “this war must be won on the battlefield” by Ukraine.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.