The White House said that only Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can decide to start negotiations with Russia, noting that the United States is not pushing Zelensky to negotiate. About it informs “Voice of America”.

The United States rejected the view that Washington is putting pressure on Ukraine on this issue.

“We all agree that a diplomatic settlement is the best thing possible, short of a simple withdrawal of troops by Putin,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

“We also said that Zelensky himself determines whether he is ready for negotiations, when and how these negotiations will look,” he added.

According to Kirby, “no one in the United States is pushing, persuading or inciting” Zelensky to negotiate with the Russian Federation.

Kirby made the announcement two days after the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, suggested that after big victories on the battlefield and a significant weakening of the Russian troops, Ukraine could take advantage of this and start peace negotiations.

According to Milli, it is unlikely that Ukraine will be able to return all temporarily occupied territories in the near future, in particular Crimea, which the Russian Federation seized in 2014. However, later Milli said that Ukraine itself should determine when and under what conditions it would be ready to negotiate.

Kirby stressed that there is no pressure on Ukraine in this matter.

“We are not going to discuss with Russia about ending the war in Ukraine without Ukraine’s participation in this dialogue. This dialogue is not taking place because President Zelensky has made it clear that he is not ready for this,” he said.

Kirby added that Zelensky cannot be blamed for this, as the Russian Federation has shown that it is not ready for negotiations.

Read also: Milli explained why he considers negotiations with Russia a good idea

Earlier, Zelensky said that he received signals from Western partners about the desire of Vladimir Putin regarding direct negotiations with Ukraineand proposed a “public format” for such negotiations.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US national security adviser Jake Sullivan during a recent visit to Kyiv, he advised the Ukrainian authorities to reconsider the goals in the war and think about realistic demands for negotiations with Russia. The speech, in particular, was about the course declared by Ukraine for the de-occupation of Crimea.

Last week Zelensky saidthat is open to negotiations with Russia, but only for “real” negotiations that would reopen Ukraine’s borders, provide compensation for Russian attacks, and punish those responsible for war crimes. He named five conditions for negotiations with the Russian Federation.

Such a statement by Zelensky was made a few days after Washington Post messages that Washington wanted Kyiv to signal its willingness to negotiate.