NEW YORK, December 2. /TASS/. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov are holding private talks, US journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said, citing sources.
"The driving force of those talks has not been Washington or Moscow, or [US President Joe] Biden or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, but instead the two high-ranking generals who run the war, Valery Gerasimov of Russia and Valery Zaluzhny of Ukraine," he said in an article, citing US officials and Americans that are familiar with the situation in the Ukrainian government.
Hersh said, citing a US official, that Zaluzhny had US backing in holding the talks. The potential deal stipulates that Crimea will remain Russian and there will be elections on the territories that were liberated by Russia and then joined the country, the journalist said.
In exchange, Russia could be willing to allow Ukraine to join NATO, with a caveat that NATO would have to commit to "not place NATO troops on Ukrainian soil." The agreement also would not allow NATO to place offensive weapons in Ukraine.