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‘Russia interested in Ukraine talks’

US is putting "enormous pressure" on Russia for humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to escape, an official says

Russia is showing signs it might be willing to have substantive negotiations over Ukraine, even as Moscow currently is intent on “destroying” its neighbor, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Sunday,

Sherman, in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” said the United States is putting “enormous pressure” on Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to a cease-fire in its weeks-old invasion of Ukraine and to allow the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to escape.

“That pressure is beginning to have some effect. We are seeing some signs to have real, serious negotiations. But I have to say … so far it appears Vladimir Putin is intent on destroying Ukraine,” Sherman said.

Sherman did not elaborate on hints Moscow may have provided about talks.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed the alarming administration assessment of Putin’s intentions, telling CNN: “As things stand right now, Vladimir Putin does not look like he is prepared to stop the onslaught” against Ukraine.

Following a Russian attack on a military base near Poland’s border where Nato defences are deployed, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said he did not believe a Nato-imposed no-fly zone over Ukraine would have prevented that.

And he said that while a no-fly zone has a “nice air policing sound,” such a move by Nato would hurl the United States into war with Russia.

“There is very little that you can see that would make sense for this war to be escalated between two nuclear powers,” Kirby told ABC’s “This Week.”

Both Sherman and Sullivan were asked about the Biden administration’s decision to not facilitate the transfer of Polish jets to Ukraine, saying Kyiv needed other military hardware.

“What Ukrainians needed was anti-aircraft, anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, which is what we are supplying them in great measure and coordinating with other countries to do the same,” Sherman said.

Sullivan said US President Joe Biden on Friday promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would authorize the transfer of such capabilities to help Ukraine deal with the Russian air threat.

“We are working on that intensively in close coordination with our allies,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also reiterated that while Washington had no plans to insert US forces into Ukraine, the United States would defend “every inch of Nato territory.

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