New details have been revealed Wednesday related to the Ukraine war, at a moment the West is beginning to admit Ukraine’s counteroffensive is failing, despite billions of foreign military hardware (and counting) shipped to Kiev thus far.
“Secret diplomatic talks are ongoing between former senior U.S. national security officials and high-ranking members of the Kremlin, a U.S. official directly involved in the talks has confirmed to The Moscow Times,” the Amsterdam-based publication reports.
While NBC earlier this month first reported on the back-channel discussions described as “discrete” exchanges with top Kremlin officials, Moscow Times interviewed an unnamed US official involved, shedding light on what’s dubbed “track 1.5 diplomacy”.
The ongoing meetings have involved Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov representing Moscow, detailed as follows:
Known as track 1.5 diplomacy, these covert discussions enable both sides to understand each other’s red lines and mitigate potential conflicts, serving as a crucial link between official government negotiations (track 1 diplomacy) and unofficial expert dialogues (track 2).
“There is an eminent need for track 1.5 diplomacy when the world gets closed off as it has now,” the US official who is directly involved in the talks said, further confirming twice-a-month meetings, but which are sometimes done remotely online.
“I have been visiting Moscow at least every three months,” the diplomat told Moscow Times. After in the opening months of the war direct attempts at Russia-Ukraine negotiations collapsed, reportedly thwarted by the US and UK at a moment there was a guiding belief that Ukraine could push back the invasion, US-Russia communications deteriorated to the point of becoming almost non-existent.
However, there was a focus on exchanges of prisoners, as the case of Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout demonstrated.
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