SCOTT RITTER: The Back Channel

Early on in the Ukraine-Russia war, and even before it, Russia was willing to negotiate. Ukraine could have gotten pretty reasonable terms, too. Now the Russians are destroying Ukraine on the battlefield; they don’t need to negotiate. Winter will only help them. From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:

Communications between the U.S. and Russia are essential for preventing an out-of-control crisis and a conduit exists for ongoing, high-level dialogue. But what is it really for?

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, center, with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, October 2021. (NATO)

According to The Wall Street Journal, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has been involved with a secretive “back channel” line of communication with top Russian officials as part of an effort by the U.S. and Russia to prevent the war in Ukraine from escalating into a nuclear conflict.

Among the officials named as representing the Russian conduit for this “back channel” are Yuri Ushakov, a senior foreign policy adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s security council.

In comments made shortly after the WSJ article appeared, Sullivan confirmed that he has been working to keep communication channels between the United States and Russia open despite the war in Ukraine, adding that it was “in the interests” of the White House to maintain contact with the Kremlin.

Speaking at the Economic Club of New York, Sullivan didn’t say that he himself has been engaged in the talks reported by the WSJ, only that the U.S. has “channels to communicate with the Russian Federation at senior levels.”

Sullivan has publicly availed himself of such channels in the past, conducting telephone calls with both Ushakov and Patrushev about European security and Ukraine on Dec. 20, 2021, and on March 16. Sullivan alluded to the existence of a “back channel” with Moscow in September when speculation was rampant about the possibility of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

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2 responses to “SCOTT RITTER: The Back Channel

  1. The Putin speech regarding the annexed territories is a new era and there may not be a need for red phones and back channels anymore.
    He called the FUSA and its vassals satanic with nothing to offer but robbery and war.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Scott Ritter: The Back Channel | Waikanae Watch

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