US and Germany hoping to force Zelensky to peace – Bild
The US and Germany are secretly aiming to force Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to negotiate with Russia, Bild has claimed. The tabloid cited anonymous sources as saying that Washington and Berlin are rationing weapons deliveries in the hope that Kiev will realize it cannot recapture lost territory.
The report follows suggestions in several other media outlets that Ukraine’s Western backers are leaning toward peace talks, despite Zelensky publicly ruling them out. Senior officials in Kiev, including the head of state, have recently acknowledged that Ukraine’s underwhelming summer counteroffensive has eroded the readiness among some nations to continue their support.
In its report on Friday, Bild quoted unnamed sources from “government circles” as explaining that Germany is now seeking to ensure that Ukraine puts itself in a “strategically good negotiating position” for potential talks with Russia. According to the article, the US shares this approach.
However, neither country will openly push Kiev toward dialogue, the media outlet claimed. Instead, Washington and Berlin are supposedly using their position as Kiev’s two biggest arms suppliers as leverage. The plan, according to Bild, is to provide Ukraine with precisely enough weapons to hold the current front line, but not to make any considerable breakthrough.
A government source said this is expected to drive Zelensky to the conclusion that his country cannot prevail militarily, and instead needs to negotiate peace with Russia.
The tabloid went on to claim that Western powers have a ‘plan B’, which would result in the freezing of hostilities without any formal peace agreement between Moscow and Kiev.
Asked for comment, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office denied making any such plans, insisting that Berlin “will support Ukraine for as long as necessary.”
In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Zelensky admitted the failure of the counteroffensive to regain any significant territory “is not a good message” to send to Kiev’s Western backers.
One day previously, Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, expressed concern that “discussions among certain partners have intensified” regarding the need for negotiations with Russia and a potential ceasefire.