The US, Germany, and France may push Ukraine into ending the fighting early – and the UK is reportedly concerned
Britain wants Ukraine and Russia to keep on fighting until Kiev scores a military victory, an alleged government source, cited on Thursday by The Times, has indicated. London is concerned that Kiev’s other Western backers might push it into settling for peace too soon.
Boris Johnson’s government is concerned that President Volodymyr Zelensky may be pushed into making significant concessions to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in terms of “territory, sanctions and the pursuit of Putin as a potential war criminal,” the anonymous individual claimed.
“Some of our allies may be too eager for [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] to settle,” the source said, referring to France, Germany, and the US. “We think Ukraine needs to be in the strongest possible position militarily before those talks can take place.”
London believes there must not be an “easy off-ramp” for Moscow, and urges that the sanctions be intensified “until all Russian forces have left Ukraine, including Crimea,” the newspaper reported.
Crimea broke away from Ukraine in 2014 after the democratically elected government in Kiev was overthrown in a violent coup. Moscow says Crimea is a part of its territory and considers its status settled.
The UK prime minister warned Zelensky against yielding in a phone call on the weekend, the report said.
Britain has been one of the most vocal backers of Ukraine in its stand-off with Russia, helping it with its military build-up since 2014 and shipping thousands of missiles in the weeks before the hostilities started.
Russia launched the attack on Kiev in late February, citing NATO’s creeping expansion into Ukraine as a major threat to national security, and accusing Western nations of refusing to resolve the conflict diplomatically.
Moscow stated that it was limiting military action in Ukraine to targeted strikes against military infrastructure, and to keeping Ukrainian forces in check in the hope of limiting civilian casualties and damage. It said it has no designs on territorial conquest or regime change in the country.
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