Recent sources informed The New York Times that Russian President Vladimir Putin was open to a ceasefire with Ukraine, provided Russia could retain the occupied territories. However, this narrative was contradicted by the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, in a interview with the Guardian on December 24.
Borrell stated that Putin "cannot be satisfied with a limited territorial victory" and "has decided to continue the war until the final victory."
Borrell's Insight on Putin's Strategy
Borrell emphasized that Putin would not cease the war, especially not before the American election, which may present him with a more favorable scenario.
This statement aligns with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's view that the 2024 U.S. presidential election could significantly influence the course of Russia's war against Ukraine.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, a leading candidate for the Republican Party, has been critical of the level of aid provided by President Joe Biden's administration to Kyiv.
Long-Term Conflict and Russia's Imperial Mindset
Borrell urged preparation for a high-intensity conflict over a long period, highlighting that Putin cannot be content with just a part of Ukraine.
He also noted Russia's historical status as an empire and its inability to become a nation, contributing to its continued threat to neighboring countries.
Borrell believes Putin underestimated the capacity of his army, Ukraine's resistance, and the strength of the EU and the transatlantic alliance.