POLITICO The White House is considering the possibility of allowing Russia to join a U.N.-brokered peace plan in Ukraine, a senior administration official said Friday, adding that the U.K. and France have already agreed to send arms to the pro-Russian rebels in the country’s east.
The official said there was no final decision on the issue yet, but that the White House was considering the proposal.
The plan, which calls for the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Ukraine and for the creation of a no-fly zone, would be a first step toward the eventual establishment of a U-N.-backed ceasefire.
U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this month that a cease-fire is “definitely something we’re going to be pushing for.”
“We’re also going to keep working with Russia to try to get them to agree to that,” Kerry said.
The two sides have been at odds over the past year over Ukraine’s eastern regions.
In April, Kerry warned Russia that it would be “deeply regretful” if it did not comply with the cease-fires agreed in Geneva in September and adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last month.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Kerry was “not making a clear and concrete proposal” for Russia to take part in the Geneva talks, and that the country is still working to get the peace plan approved.
Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, has rejected the Geneva deal and said it would never accept the withdrawal from Ukraine.
In March, Kerry called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine’s southeast and “restore sovereignty” there.
“I am calling on all of the Russians in the region to go home and restructure their relationship with Ukraine,” Kerry told a meeting of foreign ministers.
“They have a duty to get back to their sovereign borders, to restore their territorial integrity, to get a better understanding of what it means to have a unified, sovereign state in their country,” Kerry added.