How the United States sees the end of the war between Russia and Ukraine: review of an interview with Victoria Nuland - ForumDaily
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How the United States sees the end of the war between Russia and Ukraine: review of an interview with Victoria Nuland

Meduza talked with Victoria Nuland, an American diplomat and politician, official representative of the US State Department in 2011-2013. From the early days of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Nuland helped develop the US response to the Russian invasion.

White American politicians shaking hands at the debates, looking in camera, standing on a blue background with American flag

Photo: iStock.com/Ignatiev

In March 2024, Victoria Nuland resigned as US Deputy Secretary of State. At the beginning of her career, from 1991 to 1993, she worked at the American embassy in Moscow and was responsible for relations with the government of Boris Yeltsin. Then, already in the position of Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Nuland came to the Maidan in Kyiv and publicly supported the protesters, in particular, distributing cookies to them.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasizedthat her efforts “were indispensable in countering” Russian aggression. Read more about how Putin told the United States that Russia is ready for nuclear war. article.

Real help, not a routine

Nuland disagrees with the assertion that for many American and European politicians, the war has already become a bureaucratic routine, a background circumstance that they no longer want to spend money on changing. Find out what Putin said in an interview with Tucker Carlson from our ARTICLES.

"Just two weeks ago, Democrats and Republicans, including more than a hundred members of the US House of Representatives, together voted for providing Ukraine with a $61 billion aid package, and this is money, I note, from American taxpayers,” she said. — Moreover, during the pre-election period, when voting could very easily become extremely “partisan.” And all this happened despite the fact that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump urged go against such a decision.”

On the subject: The European Parliament recognized Putin as the illegitimate president of Russia

According to Nuland, this happened because the Americans understand that if they allow an international robber like Putin to simply “tear off” a piece of someone else’s country, then he will come after the NATO countries, and in addition will set a bad example for autocrats around the world.

“I'm glad we received this money. Now Ukrainians need, of course, to use them wisely. Putin is expanding the Russian military-industrial complex at a crazy pace, spending all the money not for schools and healthcare, but for war. We, in turn, need to help Ukrainians strengthen their defense industry - and stimulate our own,” she assured.

Putin's war

Nuland believes that For some unknown reason, a strong, independent and European Ukraine seems like some kind of curse to Putin.

She says that Kyiv's path to the west is a profitable path for Russia itself. But Putin put his own interests above all, saying that these are the interests of all Russians.

“In his view, a ‘good’ Ukraine is a servile Ukraine that has returned to the 20th century, subordinate to the USSR,” Nuland noted.

She thinks that Putin pushed Kyiv away from Moscow with his own hands.

“Let's remember: the majority of Ukrainians, from 60% to 70%, sympathized Russia even immediately after the Maidan. And then Putin seizes Crimea and sends his “little green men” to Donetsk and Lugansk. How can you not take an anti-Russian position when your country is being invaded from several sides, when your youth are dying at the front?” she asked rhetorically.

“If the United States did something similar in Mexico (which, of course, we are not going to do!), then the Mexicans would overnight become radically anti-American. Regardless of whether Putin would try to build an “anti-American bridgehead” there,” the politician added.

Nuland noted that the United States has provided Kyiv with a lot of military and economic support over the past three years. Special funds have been created for the reconstruction of critical infrastructure, for energy support for the country, and for humanitarian assistance.

“But while we, our European and Asian allies are giving Ukraine more and more money, Putin is causing even more damage. According to some estimates, people are now dying at the front a thousand Russian men a day — just to advance a couple of kilometers and take several villages,” Nuland stated.

She agrees that Ukraine’s needs are growing, but at the same time she is confident that help will come, including new and longer-range weapons this summer.

Negotiations and the danger of Trump

“Whether to move on to discussing peace in general and when to move on is Ukraine’s decision. So far, Putin’s approach to negotiations looks like this: “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours, we’ll discuss it.” Therefore, the goal of American strategy now is to prepare Kyiv militarily, economically and politically so that it can begin to negotiate from a position of strength. So that Putin and his military leaders understand: this is a losing war for them - and it’s time to come to an agreement. In our own interests,” the politician emphasized.

According to her, Ukraine needs guarantees that Putin will not try to do the same thing again after the negotiations.

Therefore, as she explained, half of the package recently approved by Congress is intended for long-term investments in the Ukrainian army. So that if a pause does arise, Putin understands: the Armed Forces of Ukraine will only become stronger during this time, and not vice versa.

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“In any case, I don’t think Putin is ready for honest negotiations. He wants to see a leader like Viktor Yanukovych at the head of Ukraine, who would be ready to subject Kyiv to the whims of Moscow: subject his own economy to plunder, and provide the territory for Russian military bases. Zelensky is not that kind of person,” Nuland said.

She does not believe that Kyiv can be pushed to changing position regarding peace negotiations. Nuland said that Zelensky has been incredibly effective in his attempts to remind the world exactly what a just settlement to this war would look like.

The politician speaks with caution about Trump's prospects of taking the US presidency.

“What worries me is not so much his isolationism as his tendency to pander to other autocrats and world leaders with dictatorial tendencies. He sympathized with Putin for many years. What if Trump is elected and decides to leave Ukraine alone with Russia? As a result, we will get Putin, who will continue his march to the West - now to NATO territories. Trump will endanger all of us and our allies,” she concluded.

Comatosis of Russian-American relations

“Everything is not only bad, but also simply sad,” Nuland emphasized. — When I was very young, in the 1990s, we had regular, weekly contacts with Russians from all regions, of all political views and beliefs - from liberals to hardcore... I, you know, saw Vladimir Zhirinovsky live! We could travel."

But over his five terms, Nuland says, Putin has consistently destroyed these channels of communication. The Russians are not allowed to negotiate or communicate anything meaningful.

“During the Barack Obama administration, Putin wanted the United States to participate in the Minsk process, and even appointed a permanent negotiator with whom we met five or six times - and with this person we had constructive conversations! And now there’s no one left who could talk to us,” Nuland laments. — Communication is more reminiscent of a dialogue with a telephone operator: even my old contacts, whom I have known for 20-30 years, simply convey certain messages to me on calls. And they repeat public theses. It's incredibly sad."

According to Nuland, the only thing in which the United States has achieved results in terms of successful communication with the Russian Federation since the beginning of the full-scale invasion is the deal to release Brittney Greiner.

She said that The first priority is to preserve the ability to continue working to bring home Americans still in Russia.

As Nuland noted, she does not believe that Navalny’s death was the result of exchange negotiations.

“Putin didn’t have to kill him to prevent extradition; he could have simply said no. I think Putin just didn’t like Navalny’s advice gave Russian voters on the eve of the presidential elections did not want to feel the presence of a competitor on the eve of re-election. We will never know the details,” she is convinced.

Sanctions and the role of China

According to Nuland, the United States is thinking about how to make sanctions more effective. She clarified that difficulties with the effect of sanctions arose because Putin “does not care about his own citizens.”

“It was his policy that denied Russians access to travel and study abroad. He sacrifices the fate of Russian children - be it 20-year-old soldiers dying at the front, or schoolchildren who do not receive a first-class education, she assures. — As you know, the first wave of sanctions was designed to cut Russia off from the banking sector and put pressure on the oligarchs (so that they, in turn, would influence Putin). The problem with any sanctions is that the country subject to them always finds ways around them - so such measures need to be constantly updated. When the import of European laptops and washing machines to the UAE, Turkey and India jumped sharply (from there all this, of course, was transported to Russia), we drew the attention of these three states, where the goods transported through their territory ultimately end up.”

Nuland noted defense-industrial cooperation between Russia and China.

“Beijing promised that it would not transfer weapons to Moscow, so now it is simply sending everything necessary to Russia to assemble weapons on the spot, like a Lego set. And this strategy is very effective for both countries: Russia has no one else to trade with, except perhaps Iran and North Korea. And the Chinese discovered that they could stimulate their economy by expanding their defense industry. Such a symbiosis,” the politician concluded.

China claims to be neutral in this conflict, and then, as Nuland noted, “subtly supports Russian military needs.”

She believes that it is necessary to speak directly with China - that “it will not be possible to sit on two chairs.”

“You either support Russia, sacrifice your reputation and foreign trade, or become truly neutral,” Nuland said. - Europe, which is an incredibly valuable trading partner for China, is increasingly gets disappointed in his position. I think that European and American pressure on Beijing will continue - and they will not be able to sit on two chairs. They will have to decide.”

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