According to two individuals close to the Kremlin, Putin has "tested the waters" with the United States through indirect channels to signal that he is open for talks, including about future security arrangements for Ukraine.
However, U.S. officials maintain they are unaware of such initiatives and do not see signs that Putin is seriously inclined to end the invasion of Ukraine.
The sources added that the signals were conveyed to high-ranking U.S. officials last month through an intermediary, whose name they refused to disclose.
Putin, they said, might be ready to consider the possibility of backing away from insisting on Ukraine's neutral status and even to stop opposing Ukraine's potential NATO membership, the threat of which had been a primary pretext for Russia's invasion.
On Dec. 23, 2023, The New York Times reported that despite recent statements by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that his goals in the war against Ukraine have not changed, he is signaling through backchannel diplomacy that he is ready to make a deal.
Also in December, Ukrainian Defense Intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov stated that Russia does not currently plan to continue the war in 2025. Defense Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov later clarified that this planning might change based on the outcomes of 2024.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine