Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. intensifies Ukraine diplomacy

Nearly ten months into the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration is intensifying diplomatic efforts to ensure that the transatlantic alliance that opposes Russia’s invasion survives a bitter European winter. In the past weeks, the administration has scrambled to adjust its signature inflation legislation to appease European governments whose support it needs on Ukraine, and secured an agreement from the G7 nations to cap the price of Russian oil. “(This winter) Ukrainians will suffer and Russia may just continue to make it harder,” said one senior European diplomat. “It may be more and more difficult for Europeans to preserve their unity and continue to deliver weapons, cash and assistance to Ukraine.” (https://neuters.de/world/europe/us-accelerates-ukraine-diplomacy-europe-slides-into-winter-2022-12-13/) President Joe Biden also briefly moderated his strong opposition to talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a signal to allies restless for a negotiated end to the conflict. The Ukraine war is also the backdrop for the U.S.-Africa Summit, a relationship-building exercise that started on Tuesday and brings together the leaders of 49 African nations, many of whom have expressed frustration with paying the economic price for the war, which the United Nations says has worsened a global food crisis. The coalition of countries opposing Russia’s invasion – from NATO members to U.S. allies such as Japan and Australia – has proven resilient, defying predictions that rising energy prices in part caused by the war could fracture the grouping. But sustaining that united front has required diplomacy and compromise, say diplomats and U.S. officials, and will likely require more as the European winter tests the public’s support for Ukraine.

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