‘Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,’ claim the Democrats who ignored that principle

‘Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,’ claim the Democrats who ignored that principle

Politico reports:

House progressives on Tuesday retracted a letter calling on President Joe Biden to engage in direct diplomacy with Russia, less than 24 hours after it sparked intense backlash from other Democrats.

The about-face comes as some Democratic lawmakers vent their fury that the letter backing talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin — originally drafted and signed in June — wasn’t recirculated before its public release on Monday. That release made it appear that the 30 House Democrats who signed on, all lawmakers in the roughly 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, were urging the Biden administration to push for diplomacy immediately despite Russia’s engagement in war crimes and indications of a military escalation against Ukraine.

Making the timing of the letter even more politically perilous: Ukraine is not ready for negotiations at this point, especially because its months-long counteroffensive has been successful to date, and there’s no indication Putin is ready to deal either.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine,” the caucus’ chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), said in a statement after POLITICO first reported that the retraction was imminent. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting.”

Jayapal said she accepts “responsibility” for the embarrassing flub, adding that the timing of the letter caused a “distraction” and was “conflated” with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent suggestion that Republicans might pull back on Ukraine funding if they win control of the House. [Continue reading…]

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