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Former U.S. diplomat skeptical of peace talks with Russia

EVANSTON, Ill. — Ian Kelly, former U.S. ambassador to Georgia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said he is skeptical of Russia’s intentions at the peace talks with Ukraine.

Kelly, who is currently ambassador-in-residence at Northwestern University, is available to speak with media. Jordan Gans-Morse, associate professor of political science at Northwestern and an expert on Ukraine is also available. The experts can be reached by contacting Mohamed Abdelfattah at

‘We have to look at what Russia does, not what it says it will do’
Said Kelly: “Count me skeptical. When it comes to the possible withdrawal of troops, we have to look at what Russia does, not what it says it will do. In 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia, it signed an EU-brokered agreement to return their troops to their bases of origin. Fourteen years later, the shooting has stopped, but the Russian troops still occupy sovereign Georgian territory.”

The West should follow Ukraine’s lead on negotiations
Said Gans-Morse: “As a glimmer of optimism emerges about peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, it’s essential that Zelensky and his team play the leading role, free of external pressure from the West, in determining their country's future. It is Ukrainians that have been fighting and dying. It is Ukraine's sovereign territory that is at stake. Ukraine’s leadership has shown themselves to be more than competent in its response to Russia’s unlawful invasion, and the U.S. and its NATO allies should provide Zelensky with maximal support for whatever negotiating strategy he seeks to pursue at this juncture.”