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Western diplomats call for launching talks with Moscow to prevent further losses for Kiev

The diplomats emphasized "the desirability, even urgency, of a negotiated peace, not least for the sake of Ukraine itself"

LONDON, July 10. /TASS/. The US should launch talks on Ukraine with Russia because otherwise, Kiev is likely to lose more territory, former Western diplomats wrote in an open letter published in the Financial Times.

According to them, the recent advance of Russian forces in Donbass reinforces "the case for a negotiated settlement "of the conflict in Ukraine. The experts point out that "the likeliest outcome will be continued stalemate on the ground, with a not insignificant chance of a Russian victory." They see a return to Ukraine’s 2014 frontiers as the least likely scenario.

The diplomats emphasized "the desirability, even urgency, of a negotiated peace, not least for the sake of Ukraine itself." In their view, Ukraine has already won independence and "some territorial concessions would seem a small price to pay."

"Washington should start talks with Moscow on a new security pact which would safeguard the legitimate security interests of both Ukraine and Russia. The announcement of these talks should be immediately followed by a time-limited ceasefire in Ukraine. The ceasefire would enable Russian and Ukrainian leaders to negotiate in a realistic, constructive manner," the letter reads.

The diplomats urged "the world’s leaders to initiate or support such an initiative." "The longer the war continues the more territory Ukraine is likely to lose, and the more the pressure for escalation up to a nuclear level is likely to grow. The sooner peace is negotiated the more lives will be saved, the sooner the reconstruction of Ukraine will start and the more quickly the world can be pulled back from the very dangerous brink at which it currently stands," they concluded.

The letter was signed by British House of Lords member Robert Skidelsky, ex-British Ambassador to Russia Anthony Brenton, UnHerd columnist Thomas Fazi, Director of the Eurasia Program at the Washington-based Quincy Institute Anatol Lieven, former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock, University of Kent Professor Richard Sakwa and former staff members of the British embassy in Moscow Ian Proud and Christopher Granville.