The administration of US President Joe Biden is reportedly considering ‘freezing’ the conflict in Ukraine for the foreseeable future, instead of pushing for the country’s victory, according to sources cited by Politico on Thursday.
Three serving and one former US official told the outlet that a long-term low-intensity stand-off was currently being discussed in the White House.
The former official compared the possible scenario to how the Korean War of the early 1950s ended in an armistice. There was no formal peace agreement, with both Pyongyang and Seoul claim sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula and a demilitarized zone separating the two parts.
“A Korea-style stoppage is certainly something that’s been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government,” the source said. “It’s plausible, because neither side would need to recognize any new borders and the only thing that would have to be agreed is to stop shooting along a set line.”
The benefits for the US would be that a frozen conflict would be less costly for Western nations and draw less public attention, and consequently less pressure to assist Kiev, the outlet explained.
Ukraine would still be allied with Washington and continue switching its military to NATO standards, as it seeks to join the bloc someday.
The ‘Korean scenario’ for Ukraine drew media attention in January, after Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of the country’s national security council, claimed in an interview that Moscow had sent a top official to European capitals to promote it.
The Kremlin denied the reports and claimed Danilov may have mistaken a Ukrainian politician surnamed Kazak for his namesake in the Russian government, whom he identified as the messenger.
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, argued that Danilov’s words were meant for “domestic consumption,” so that the Ukrainian government could measure the public reaction to it. The Russian official mused that “being split is the best-case scenario,” for Kiev, under the circumstances.
Moscow called NATO’s expansion in Europe and its creeping takeover of Ukraine without its formal accession as one of the key reasons for sending troops against its neighbor. The conflict, Russia has maintained, is part of a US proxy war against it, in which Ukrainians serve as cannon fodder