US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that the United States has purposefully “refrained from laying out what we see as an end game” for the war in Ukraine and will “not be pressuring [Ukraine] to make territorial concessions” to Russia, but noted that the US has been in talks with Ukraine about what a settlement could look like.
In the discussion with the Center for a New American Security, Sullivan said that the US will continue “to support and consult” with Ukraine “about how they want to approach a negotiated outcome with the Russians."
"And for the time being, supporting them in that means supporting them through the steady provision of weapons and intelligence” in order to strengthen the country's hand at the negotiating table, he added.
CNN has previously reported that, staring down the prospect of an extended stalemate in Ukraine, the US and its allies are placing a renewed emphasis on the need for a negotiated settlement to end the war. In recent weeks, US officials have been meeting regularly with their British and European counterparts to discuss potential frameworks for a ceasefire and for ending the war through a negotiated settlement.
Asked about the apparent discrepancy between how many HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) the US had provided to Ukraine versus how many Ukraine has asked for, Sullivan said:
“It’s the Ukrainians’ job to ask for as many as they can possibly get their hands on, and it’s our job to deliver them to the extent that we feel there are trained personnel and capacity to actually put those to use in an effective way.”
A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week that Ukraine needs around 300 of the systems, but the US has only provided four so far.
“These are highly sophisticated systems that require real training,” Sullivan added. “We’ve trained an initial cadre of Ukrainians to be able to use them. But as you increase the number of systems, you obviously have to increase the number of personnel being prepared to use them. So that will be a process that unfolds over the course of the coming weeks and months.”