“When it comes to the final word standing of Crimea, that might be one thing to be negotiated or mentioned between the Ukrainians and the Russians, however Crimea is Ukraine,” Colin H. Kahl, the Pentagon’s underneath secretary for coverage, mentioned on Tuesday.
Ukrainian army advances on Crimea, although a distant prospect for now, would stoke concern in Washington about Mr. Putin’s threats to escalate the battle.
American and European leaders see their purpose for now as holding a protracted struggle contained to Ukraine and deterring Mr. Putin from utilizing a tactical nuclear warhead or different weapon of mass destruction. Officers debate whether or not Mr. Putin is bluffing when he hints at utilizing nuclear arms, however some analysts imagine that management of Crimea, dwelling to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, might be a crimson line for the Russian chief.
American officers have mentioned for months that they’re sending personal and public messages to the Kremlin to warn of extreme penalties if Mr. Putin makes use of nuclear weapons. Mr. Sullivan has been speaking to Nikolai Patrushev, his Russian counterpart, because the starting of the struggle to attempt to avert any misunderstandings round nuclear threats, the Biden administration official mentioned.
“I’ve recognized each Jake Sullivan and Tony Blinken for years,” mentioned Consultant Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, referring to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. Mr. Khanna, who was amongst those that signed the progressives’ letter to Mr. Biden, continued, “I’ve confidence that they perceive the dangers of nuclear struggle and the dangers of escalation, and are doing every part they will to face with Ukraine whereas minimizing the dangers of the battle escalating.”
American officers mentioned Mr. Zelensky’s personal place has been the identical as his public one: He desires to see Ukraine’s pre-2014 territory returned, and he isn’t eager about buying and selling any of it for an finish to the struggle.
Some European officers marvel privately whether or not that place is tenable, however others voice assist for it.