Putin won't make peace in Ukraine before 2024 US election -US official

  • World
  • Wednesday, 29 Nov 2023

Residents watch tank cars set ablaze following recent shelling at a railway junction in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine, October 31, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will not make peace in Ukraine before he knows the results of the November 2024 U.S. election, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Tuesday, amid concerns that a potential victory for former President Donald Trump could upend Western support for Kyiv.

Trump, who is seeking reelection in 2024 and is the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has been sharply critical of U.S. support for Kyiv.

A senior official briefing reporters after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels said the alliance reiterated its support for Ukraine knowing that a peace agreement in the next year is unlikely.

"My expectation is that Putin won't make a peace or a meaningful peace before he sees the result of our election," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the outcomes of the meeting.

Asked whether they were expressing a personal opinion or the view of the U.S. government, the official said it was a "widely shared premise."

"That was the context in which the allies all expressed strong support for Ukraine" in the NATO meeting on Tuesday, the official added, without mentioning Trump by name or explicitly saying how the election result would affect support for Ukraine.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in mid-November showed Trump and U.S. President Joe Biden locked in a tight race, with Trump leading Biden 51% to 49% when respondents were asked to pick between the two. That result was within the poll's credibility interval of about four percentage points.

Biden, a Democrat, has given massive military aid and other support to Kyiv since Russia's February 2022 full-scale invasion, but additional funding for Ukraine is being held up by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier this month invited Trump, who has said he could end the war in 24 hours if reelected, to Ukraine to see the scale of the conflict for himself.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sonali Paul)

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