According to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung (NZZ), Joe Biden offered Vladimir Putin 20% of Ukraine as a trade for a peace deal. During a top-secret visit to Moscow in January, William Burns, CIA Director, made the offer.
Although the White House denies that a specific “land-for-peace” offer was made, it won’t rule out that some type of peace offer was not made. Sources for the story were cited as “high-ranking German officials”.
According to reports, both Moscow and Kyiv rejected the proposal.
It is significant that Ukraine offered 20% of its territory. It is roughly the same size as the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, which Russia claims it annexed last Sept. It is home to a large Russian-speaking population and is currently at civil war.
Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, has insisted that Donbas is Ukrainian territory. The war will not end until all Ukrainian territory seized from Moscow — including Crimea — is recovered.
According to NZZ, Kyiv rejected the proposal “because they don’t want their territory divided”, while Russian officials stated that they “will win the war against the end anyway”, whereas NZZ has been called the Swiss newspaper of record.
Sean Davitt, White House deputy spokesperson for the National Security Council, said that the NZZ report is “not accurate” and that the CIA would also say the same.
According to the news outlet, Biden said that he wanted to avoid a prolonged war in Ukraine and offered the territory as part of his peace plan.
There is a split in the administration over Ukraine’s strategy. Some, such as CIA director Burns want to quickly end the war in Ukraine so that the United States can turn its attention towards China.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, “didn’t want Russia to get away with dismantling the rule-based Peace Order and called for huge military support for Ukraine.”
NZZ was told by one of the politicians that he believes that the U.S. is making preparations for a long war against all odds. He expressed concern that Germany would be economically, financially, and militarily devastated by such a war.
Germany also stated that it will provide Ukraine with 14 of its Leopard 2A6 tanks and allow partner countries the opportunity to re-export tanks to help Kyiv.
Boris Pistorius, the German Defense Minister, stated on January 26th that the promised Leopard 2 tanks would arrive in Ukraine at either the end of March or the beginning of April.
The arrival date of the tanks might not be enough to affect the Russian offensive, which some analysts in Ukraine predict will begin on February 22nd.
A nation should be as principled and responsible as possible. While Austin and Blinken may be trying to defend certain principles, it is not worth the risk of having to defend them with nuclear weapons.