Politico: Increasing of disagreements behind the scenes between Washington and Kiev regarding the goals of the war
Politico said, citing informed sources, that there are growing disagreements behind the scenes between the United States and Ukraine regarding the goals of the war and how and when to end the military conflict with Russia.
The sources talked about a number of new points of tension, including the issue of sabotaging the Russian Nord Stream pipeline and what Washington considers a drain on the Ukrainian capabilities in defending the city of Bakhmut, which US officials do not see as strategically important.
Politico quoted White House officials as complaining about the continued Ukrainian requests for weapons and the failure to show proper gratitude on the part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Another row is emerging over a plan to fight for Crimea, where Russian forces have been entrenched since 2014.
“Is he just giving Ukraine enough to survive and not win? I don’t see a policy for victory at the moment, and if we don’t have that, what are we going to do?” Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.
There has been little estrangement between Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, after an alliance that was on full display last month when the US president made his secret and dramatic visit to Kiev.
But based on conversations with 10 officials, lawmakers and experts, new flashpoints include the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage the brutal, exhausting defense of a strategically insignificant Ukrainian city, and a plan to fight for an area where Russian forces have been entrenched for nearly a decade.
Senior Biden administration officials emphasized that the unity between Washington and Kiev is solid, but the cracks that have emerged make it difficult to credibly claim that there is little light in the fissures between the United States and Ukraine.
Officials told Politico that Washington believes that the Battle of Bakhmut will limit Ukraine’s ability to launch a counterattack in the spring, and therefore Washington advised Kiev to abandon the city due to its depletion of resources, but the latter refused.
“I certainly don’t want to discount the tremendous work that Ukrainian soldiers and commanders have done to defend Bakhmut – but I think it has more symbolic value than strategic and operational value,” said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Politico report confirms what Russian experts have long held, that there are differences behind the curtain between the war camp against Russia, and the state of unity in the American-European position regarding support for Ukraine suffers from many imbalances behind the scenes and behind closed doors.
And if some cracks and discrepancies appear now between the United States and Kiev, the size of the discrepancies with the European side may be more extensive.