Live Updates: Russia invades Ukraine
US and European officials discussed how the West would support a government-in-exile led by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if he were to flee Kyiv, Western officials told CNN.
Discussions ranged from the support of Zelensky and senior Ukrainian officials in a possible move to Lviv in western Ukraine to the possibility that Zelensky and his associates would be forced to flee Ukraine altogether and establish a new government in Poland, officials said.
Discussions are only preliminary and no decision has been made, the sources said.
Western officials have also been reluctant to discuss a government-in-exile directly with Zelensky because he wants to stay in Kyiv and has so far rejected talks that focus on anything other than strengthening Ukraine in its fight against Russia, explained two Western diplomats. . They added that there had been talks of sending one or more members of Zelensky’s government to an outside location where a government could be set up in case Kyiv fell and Zelensky was unwilling or unwilling. could not come out.
“The Ukrainians have plans in place that I’m not going to talk about or go into in detail to make sure there’s continuity of government one way or another, and I’ll leave it at that,” said the Secretary of State. State Antony Blinken told CBS on Sunday.
American and European officials believed in the early days of the war that moving Zelensky to Lviv might be feasible as it was unclear whether Russia would target western Ukraine. But now, given Russia’s dramatic escalation over the past few days against civilian targets across Ukraine, they’re not so sure Russia will spare an inch of Ukrainian territory.