Some 30 Democratic representatives in Washington have urged President Joe Biden to pursue diplomatic means of ending the conflict in Ukraine, including “direct talks with Russia.” However, the Democratic Party leadership is still set on arming Kiev for the long haul.
In a letter to the White House on Monday, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (Washington) cited the “destruction” of Ukraine, the threat of nuclear war, and the economic turmoil visited upon Europe as reasons to pursue a negotiated settlement.
While the ultimate decision on when to return to the negotiating table remains Ukraine’s, Jayapal added, the fact that the US has poured tens of billions of dollars into keeping Kiev afloat “creates a responsibility for the United States to seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia, to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement.”
The letter concluded by again urging Biden to open “direct talks with Russia,” without suggesting what kind of compromises the lawmakers think Ukraine should make for peace.
Among the letter’s signatories were prominent progressives Ro Khanna (Pennsylvania), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York).
The Biden administration has to date allocated upwards of $60 billion in military and economic aid to Kiev since February.