Former US official explains why America never pushed Ukraine to negotiate with Russia

Kiev’s “negotiating position” has never been strong enough amid the conflict, the former US Deputy Secretary of State says.

Ukraine has never been in a position to get a favorable settlement to end the enduring conflict with Russia and so Washington has never actually encouraged Kiev to negotiate with Moscow, according to Victoria Nuland, the former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former acting Deputy Secretary of State.

“It can definitely get to a place where it’s strong enough, I believe, and where Putin is stymied enough to go to the negotiating table from a position of strength. It’ll be up to the Ukrainian people what their territorial ambitions should be,” she said, adding that “whatever is decided on Crimea, it can’t be remilitarized such that it’s a dagger at the heart of the center of Ukraine.”
The former official revealed Washington has never actually pressed Kiev into negotiations with Moscow, claiming its “negotiating position” was never actually strong enough, including in late 2022.
“They were not in a strong enough position then. They’re not in a strong enough position now. The only deal Putin would have cut then, the only deal that he would cut today, at least before he sees what happens in our election, is a deal in which he says, ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable.’ And that’s not sustainable,” she claimed.
Victoria Nuland has been widely perceived as one of the key figures behind the whole Ukrainian crisis that started with the Maidan events, which ultimately brought down Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich, in 2014.
The diplomat, who at the time was Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, infamously showed up among Maidan activists, handing out pastries. The affair became widely known as “Nuland’s cookies,” serving as a textbook example of direct US involvement in the coup.