Jake Sullivan Reportedly Urged by 'Russia Hawks' to Send More Arms to Ukraine Ahead of Geneva Talks
Russia's security suggestions for NATO and Washington, which include provisions on the mutual non-deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles, the non-expansion of NATO eastward and the reduction of military exercises, were anticipated as the central issue of Geneva talks between Russia and the United States on security guarantees.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was urged by a group of hawkish Russia experts during a Zoom meeting to send more arms to Ukraine ahead of this week’s crunch diplomatic meetings on security issues with Russian officials, reported Axios.
"It’s always smart to engage with outsiders. There’s never a downside,” Michael McFaul, a National Security Council official who served under President Obama, was cited as saying. He added:
“Jake is not afraid to interact with specialists, including those who may disagree with him.”
The report suggested that officials of the Biden administration were soliciting advice on policy regarding Russia from outside experts, including those who served under former President Donald Trump.
After the meeting, the aforementioned “hawks” were reportedly convinced that Jake Sullivan had been enlightened on the “threats” and potential responses that the US government and NATO could resort to.
“I can’t possibly confirm the possible Zoom call. I will say that Jake is much too smart and much too capable to put himself in a box,” Daniel Fried, who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from 2005 to 2009 and US ambassador to Poland from 1997 to 2000 was cited as saying.
In response to the report, National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Emily Horne acknowledged to Axios that it was routine for officials to meet with outside experts adhering to a diverse set of views and welcome "their expertise as we address this crisis."
Jake Sullivan's purported meeting came in the wake of a public letter
penned by scholars, diplomats and former generals and cited by the outlet, urging the Joe Biden administration to provide additional military equipment to Ukraine, including more Javelin and Stinger missiles.
“The most important thing that the West can do now is to enhance the deterrent strength of Ukraine’s armed forces by providing military assistance and equipment on an expedited basis,” it was stated in the letter, organised by John Herbst, ex-US ambassador to Ukraine and currently senior director for the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center.
Other signatories included McFaul, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, retired Gen. Philip Breedlove, former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Trump’s special representative to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and Daniel Fried, a former U.S. ambassador to Poland.
Te report comes as Russia and the United States embarked upon talks on security guarantees in closed format on the territory of the US Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva.
The Russian delegation is headed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin, while the US delegation is led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
10 January 2022, 06:09 GMT
Saturday saw preliminary negotiations in the format of a working dinner, with Ryabkov assessing the conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman as difficult, but businesslike.
Last month, Moscow had presented its draft proposals on security guarantees for Russia, the US and NATO.
In line with the proposed security treaties' articles, both countries were not to deploy forces and missiles in areas where they might be perceived as a threat to one another's national security. The deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles would be limited, while also urging a halt to NATO's eastward expansion, with a demand that Ukraine be prevented from joining the alliance.
Earlier, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov emphasised that security talks between Russia and the US on strategic stability should generally be about the impossibility of Ukraine joining NATO
The Russian senior diplomat reiterated that without revising NATO decisions on Ukraine, a productive dialogue would be impossible.
10 January 2022, 09:58 GMT
During a joint press conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ahead of the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting in Brussels on Monday, NATO Secretary General underscored that the alliance will never compromise on its open-door membership policy.
He also stated that there will be "severe costs" for Russia should it invade Ukraine.
The Kremlin, which has been dismissing “alarmist” media reports claiming that Russia was planning to "invade" Ukraine
, has repeatedly reiterated that it can relocate its troops within its own territory, while it was NATO's military activity near the country's borders that posed a threat to its security.