Biden Reportedly Ordered Pentagon, State Department to Tone Down Rhetoric About Ukraine's Victory
19:28 GMT 16.06.2022 (Updated: 19:31 GMT 16.06.2022)
The order to tone down the statements about Ukraine's military victory over Russia came as Kiev stopped all contacts with Moscow on negotiating a peaceful end to the conflict and instead adopted the rhetoric of ending it only after expelling Russian forces from Donbass and Crimea.
US President Joe Biden has demanded that his Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken tone down their rhetoric, after the two made harsh statements about how the conflict in Ukraine should end for Russia, according to an NBC News report, citing several anonymous officials.
The two reportedly faced this demand during a conference call with POTUS in April after Austin stated following his visit to Ukraine that the US would be helping the country until it defeats Russia
, and the head of US diplomacy supported the warmongering message.
"We have the mindset that we want to help them win, and we are going to do that. We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine," Austin said, referring to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
Several sources in the administration told NBC that Biden thought the secretaries "had gone too far" with their statements. POTUS reportedly considered such expectations about the conflict's end "unrealistic" and feared they might lead to a direct conflict between the US and Russia.
The two secretaries, in turn, insisted in the conversation with Biden that their comments had been "misconstrued."
"Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine. He was not happy with the rhetoric," one source claimed.
Furthermore, Biden reportedly shared a belief with his administration that the conflict will have to end with some kind of agreement with Russia. Kiev's statements, however, have been suggesting as of late that it was only ready to end the confrontation by pushing Russia back
to the pre-2014 borders. POTUS feared that if they continued down this path, the conflict would drag on for a long time with Moscow making slow, but steady advances, NBC sources said.
Not Pushing Ukraine to Make Concessions, Planning to Spend More Taxpayer Money on Conflict
Due to the persisting pessimistic views on the prospects of Kiev's ability to counter Russian forces, the White House and Biden believe that Ukraine should "dial it back a little bit" on its radical position on ending the conflict with Russia, the NBC sources said. According to them, there was a discussion among US and other Western officials that Ukraine should cede some of its territories to Russia in order to end it. Russia has stressed that it has no intention to occupy Ukraine.
However, Biden reportedly opposes the idea of pushing Kiev toward this scenario and publicly and privately has insisted that it is up to Ukraine to decide as to what the terms of peace would be. Furthermore, the White House is reportedly ready to back Kiev in the protracted conflict with Russia even at the expense of spending more taxpayer money
"We are not pressuring them to make concessions, as some Europeans are. We would never ask them to cede territory. We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money," one American official told the broadcaster.
The US has already allocated $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid
for Ukraine – a package that was supposed to last until October. Even though supplies under the package have not yet been delivered, Biden announced yet another billion in military assistance to Kiev following a conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The latter has been urging Western countries to be more expeditious and generous with its arms deliveries to Ukraine. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against such steps, arguing that not only does it perpetuate the conflict, but also creates security risks for Europe, in case these weapons end up in the wrong hands.
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