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Top US official agrees to meet Ukraine war sceptics in Denmark

Joe Biden’s prime nationwide safety aide will fly to Denmark this weekend on the behest of Kyiv’s authorities for an unannounced assembly with representatives of a number of growing international locations that haven’t condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Jake Sullivan, the White Home nationwide safety adviser, has agreed to attend the assembly in Copenhagen with officers from international locations together with India, Brazil and South Africa, in accordance with folks aware of the plans. The record of attendees has not been finalised and will change earlier than the gathering, one of many folks cautioned.

The diplomatic offensive comes as Ukrainian leaders have acknowledged their highly-touted counteroffensive is progressing extra slowly than hoped. Officers from Turkey and probably China might additionally attend.

One of many folks aware of the plans stated that, following the Ukrainian request, Washington has been encouraging China, India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa to attend.

Sullivan will journey with Victoria Nuland, the number-three official on the US state division. A senior EU official can even take part. The White Home declined to remark.

The deliberate assembly to broaden the pro-Ukrainian coalition comes after Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, warned that Kyiv’s counteroffensive launched earlier this month to roll again Russian advances had been “slower than desired”.

With the conflict anticipated to rage into subsequent 12 months, western officers fear about preaching the virtues of Ukraine’s resistance to the transformed with out ensuring their arguments have wider attraction.

“Solely little can we realise how a lot the remainder of the world shouldn’t be satisfied,” stated one European official. “They don’t seem to be satisfied. It’s a horrible factor to acknowledge.”

Bilateral commerce between Russia and China has soared because the full-scale invasion, whereas India is Moscow’s largest buyer for arms exports and has considerably boosted purchases of Russian crude oil, offsetting western embargoes.

Two folks aware of the plans stated the officers would talk about peace ideas for Ukraine in an off-the-cuff setting. One careworn that the assembly was not meant to end in any concrete end result.

The US and different western international locations have backed Zelenskyy’s peace proposal — which calls for an entire withdrawal of Russian forces — however stay open to diplomatic efforts by others, together with China, to press Moscow into ending its invasion.

The Copenhagen assembly will come after a three-day go to by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to Washington, throughout which he’s anticipated to debate Ukraine with Biden, the US president.

Sullivan this week stated that whereas India had a unique perspective on the conflict in Ukraine, it will be helpful to debate the battle with Modi. He added that Zelenskyy had urged Biden to have interaction with leaders akin to Modi.

“We predict this truly sends a message to the coalition and Ukraine that we’re working to advocate on their behalf with a broader vary of nations than simply those who present up across the desk both in Nato . . . or on the G7,” Sullivan advised reporters this week, when discussing Modi’s go to.

India, Brazil, China and South Africa — the opposite members of the Brics grouping alongside Russia — have refused to affix western sanctions in opposition to Moscow whereas offering various levels of assist to the Kremlin because it invaded its neighbour.

One other particular person aware of the Copenhagen assembly stated there was “no data” indicating that China would participate at a excessive stage, however stated it was potential a lower-level official might attend to watch the discussions.

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has stated that each Russia and Ukraine are accountable for the conflict, whereas South Africa has stepped up army co-operation with Russia because the invasion.

Turkey, a Nato member that has developed sturdy commerce ties with Russia over the previous decade, has maintained an excellent relationship with Moscow because the invasion whereas additionally pitching itself as a dealer between Zelenskyy and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Extra reporting by Felicia Schwartz in Washington