A group of hawkish Russia experts urged US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to send more arms to Ukraine during a Zoom meeting held ahead of the crunch diplomatic meetings on security issues with Russia, Axios reported.
The central issue of Geneva talks between Russia and the United States will be security guarantees Russia demanded from NATO and Washington, including non-expansion of NATO eastward mutual non-deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles and reduction of military exercises.
According to reports, the Biden administration was soliciting advice on policy regarding Russia from outside experts, including those who served under former President Trump. National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Emily Horne also confirmed that it was routine for officials to welcome outside experts’ expertise in addressing the crisis.
Michael McFaul, who served as National Security Council official under President Obama, pointed that it’s always smart to engage with outsiders and praised Jake Sullivan’s readiness to interact with specialists, including those who may disagree with him.
The aforementioned meeting of Sullivan with the “hawks” follows the public letter organized by the ex-US ambassador to Ukraine and ongoing senior director for the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center, John Herbst, and penned by scholars, diplomats, and former generals.
They were urging the Biden administration to urgently enhance the deterrent strength of Ukraine’s armed forces by providing military assistance and equipment, including more Javelin and Stinger missiles.
The US and Russia will hold bilateral talks over Ukraine’s security in Geneva on Monday. The US delegation will be led by the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
According to senior Biden administration officials, Washington would be willing to discuss on a “reciprocal” basis on several areas of Russian concern, including the size and scope of US military exercises in Europe or new restrictions on missiles, but stressed it would in no case weigh cuts to American troop levels in Europe.