All sides have said that they are willing to talk. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sat down with Zelensky and Putin last week. Ahead of his trip to Moscow, Scholz said he would underscore to Putin that any attack on Ukraine would have “serious political, economic and geostrategic consequences.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, next week, as long as Russia has not launched an invasion by that point. This past weekend, Vice President Harris and other Western officials discussed the crisis at a security conference in Munich. Harris met with Zelensky and reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to mediate talks between Ukraine and Russia. His offer was greeted warmly by Zelensky, who was hosting the Turkish leader in Kyiv. Turkey is a member of NATO but has maintained relations with Russia — even, controversially, buying Russian-made missile defense systems.
One potential U.S. concession: Officials confirmed recently that they offered to let Russia inspect missile defense systems in Romania and Poland to verify that there are no Tomahawk cruise missiles there. In return, the United States would seek inspections of similar sites in Russia. The United States has long maintained that no Tomahawk missiles are deployed in Europe, despite Russian claims.