Congressional progressives withdraw appeasement letter to Biden

25 October 2022, 09:33 PM
The Capitol building, where the US Congress meets (Photo:REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo)

The Capitol building, where the US Congress meets (Photo:REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Progressive Caucus has withdrawn their recent letter to the White House, which urged U.S. President Joe Biden to negotiate with Russia to “put an end” to the Russia-Ukraine war, The Washington Post reported on Oct. 25.

The Oct. 24 letter, signed by 30 progressive members of the U.S. House of Representatives, has drawn much ire from many fellow Democrats and Ukrainian officials. U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal – the letter’s author – said she wrote it “months ago,” and that it was released by congressional staffers “without proper clearance.”

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According to Jayapal, the unfortunate timing of the letter’s release led to it being compared to recent calls by some Republican politicians to curtail U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

“The proximity of these statements created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats, who have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian forces,” said Jayapal.

Several signatories have also retracted their endorsement of the message.

“I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then; I wouldn't sign it today,” Congresswoman Sara Jacobs said in a Twitter post on Oct. 25.

Another House Member, Mark Pocan, said the letter was first composed back in July, and its eventual publication was “badly timed.”

The letter called on the White House to engage in direct talks with the Kremlin, in order to provide Ukraine with “a diplomatic push towards redoubling efforts to find realistic ceasefire terms.”

The Biden’s administration rebuffed the notion, reiterating that only Ukraine can decide when and how to enter negotiations with Russia.

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