US Chief of Staff General Mark Milley stressed on Wednesday that US support had not diminished, but said kyiv was in a good position to start talks as its soldiers managed to stand up to Russia.
He said that the Russians were now strengthening their hold on 20% of Ukrainian territory and that the front lines from the city of Kharviv to that of Kherson were stabilizing.
“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory, consisting in driving the Russians out of all of Ukraine, including […] Crimea, the likelihood of this happening soon is not high, militarily speaking,” he said.
“There can be a political solution where politically the Russians pull out, it’s possible,” Milley added.
No American pressure
The White House reiterated on Friday that only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in a position to approve the opening of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, rejecting any notion of US pressure on kyiv.
“We also said that it was up to President Zelensky to say if and when he would be ready for negotiations and what form those negotiations would take,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. .
“No one in the United States is encouraging, insisting or pushing him to the negotiating table,” he said.
But earlier this month, Volodymyr Zelensky said he was no longer demanding Vladimir Putin’s departure to start negotiations, a change of course that came after pressure from the White House.