(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The carnage and threat of nuclear annihilation emanating from Ukraine may have been avoided had the Biden administration not interfered in peace talks with Russia, according to former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Bennett said in an interview published Saturday that the U.S. and its Western allies blocked a peace deal he helped broker last March between Ukraine and Russia.
According to a translated interview transcript, Bennett said he contacted Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the early days of the war last year, and told him he has Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s ear.”
“I can be a pipeline [for peace talks],” Bennett apparently told Blinken.
Bennett said he had frequent phone calls with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to relay their demands between each other.
Eventually, Russia guaranteed Zelensky’s safety after the war, and also dropped its demand that Ukraine disarm, according to Bennett.
In turn, Zelensky agreed to making a public commitment that Ukraine would no longer seek NATO membership, which Bennett said was the “reason” for Russia’s invasion, Bennett said.
However, U.S. officials blocked a peace deal from being finalized, he said.
“They blocked it, and I thought they were wrong,” he said. “I’ll say this in the broad sense. I think there was a legitimate decision by the West to keep striking Putin and not [negotiate].”
Nearly a year after the Biden Administration shot down Bennett’s peace efforts, tens of thousands have died, the U.S. is sending tanks to Ukraine as the war escalates, and Putin has threatened nuclear retaliation.
Despite this, the Biden administration has still given no public indication that it’s pursuing diplomacy with Russia. Last Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly said he received a message from Secretary of State Antony Blinken “that Russia should quit, and then everything will be fine.”
Lavrov reportedly responded to Blinken’s message by saying that he’s ready to listen to any “serious” proposal aimed at resolving the conflict.
The one major U.S. political figure calling for diplomacy is former President Donald Trump, who called for peace talks in a statement last Wednesday.
“It’s far past the time for all parties involved to pursue a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine before this horrific catastrophe spirals out of control and leads to World War III,” he said.
“We must end this ridiculous war and demand peace in Ukraine now before it gets worse.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.