Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Africa last week carrying the message that Moscow would like a political settlement to the war in Ukraine, but Kyiv is thwarting the initiative at the behest of the U.S. Russian diplomats echo the message, telling U.S. media and policy makers that Washington is eschewing diplomatic engagement and blocking pursuit of a peaceful resolution.
This is bunk. There are high-level channels for communicating serious messages, and if officials in Moscow want to discuss a political settlement, they know exactly how to use them. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, speak with their Russian counterparts. There is no indication that Vladimir Putin is truly willing to pursue a political settlement.