Report: Did Biden Offer Putin a Secret Deal on Ukraine?

Denis Balibouse/Pool Photo via AP

Joe Biden has poured out a ton of the time and treasure of the United States into the defense of Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Indeed, it seems like it’s the one thing that “shall not be questioned” in the Biden Administration in terms of funding: money for Ukraine. Not the defense of our border, mind you. Just Ukraine, with no clear end in sight.


However, despite all that, it appears that Joe Biden might have been willing to play appeasement games with Vladimir Putin, according to a report from the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). NZZ said CIA director William Burns went to Moscow on a secret trip and offered Russia 20 percent of Ukraine to end the war. 20 percent of Ukraine would be about the size of the Donbas region that Russia claims. The Washington Post reported that last month, Burns had met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. Supposedly the deal was submitted in January.

The offer didn’t go over well with either Ukraine or Russia. One would imagine that Ukraine was not too happy with being sideswiped by the deal.

Kyiv reportedly shut down the proposal “because they are not willing to have their territory divided” while Russian officials said they “will win the war in the long run anyway,” reported NZZ, which has been described as the Swiss newspaper of record.

Sean Savett, the deputy spokesperson for the National Security Council said the report was “not accurate.” That’s an interesting remark because they didn’t say “completely untrue” — not accurate can mean there’s one part of the report that isn’t true but the rest is substantially true. If the WaPo report is to be believed, why then did Burns go to meet with Zelensky if there wasn’t something afoot?


Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told Newsweek the report from NZZ was “interesting,” but that he couldn’t “comment [on] speculation.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine “are now impossible since there are no conditions for them either de facto or de jure.”

So it doesn’t sound like anyone’s going for whatever might have been on the table if anything was. This may also explain the change in policy and the decision to send Abrams tanks that we reported at the end of last month.

But the deal sounds much like the effort to appease Hitler during WWII, with Neville Chamberlin waving the agreement afterward and claiming that he’d secured “peace for our time.” How’d that work out? But heck, we don’t have to go back that far, there was the Obama/Biden lack of any real reaction to the original invasion into Crimea. They likely thought that letting Russia have Crimea would appease them. They found out, not so much. What such a deal would ultimately be — if Putin is set on his ambitions of grabbing back Soviet territory — would be buying Russia breathing room to recover — until they invaded again. No doubt Zelensky understands that, even if Joe Biden doesn’t.


Let’s remember how (and maybe why) this all started and the signals that seemingly being cool with “minor incursions” can give.


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