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US secretly calls on Ukraine to talk to Russia as NATO urges Putin to end war

A serviceman rests in a dugout at his position on a front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on November 3, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

The Biden administration is privately encouraging Ukraine’s leaders to signal an openness to negotiate with Russia and drop their public refusal to engage in peace talks unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power, the Washington Post reports.

The paper quoted unnamed people familiar with the discussions as saying that the request by American officials was a calculated attempt to ensure Kiev maintains the support of other nations facing constituencies wary of fueling a war for many years to come.

The report comes as US officials publicly vow to support Kiev with massive sums of aid "for as long as it takes" while hoping for a resolution to the eight-month conflict that has taken a big toll on the world economy and triggered fears of nuclear war.

The paper said US officials acknowledged that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's ban on talks with Putin had generated concern in parts of Europe, Africa and Latin America, where the war's effects on costs of food and fuel are felt most sharply.

"Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners," the Post quoted one unnamed US official as saying.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a visit to Kyiv on Friday that Washington's support for Ukraine would remain "unwavering and unflinching" following next Tuesday's midterm congressional elections.

Meanwhile, secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg said that the conflict in Ukraine is "a war of choice" and claimed: It is Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who is attacking another country, and we should know that Putin started this war. This is a war of choice and he can finish it tomorrow.

Stoltenberg added that Russia must understand that no one wins a nuclear war and such an action will have severe consequences for Russia. The probability of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine is low, but at the same the consequences will be very large and very destructive.

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