Middle East

Ukrainian diplomatic method

Charles Kupchan / Washington DC

At an annual press conference on December 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin opposed the expansion of NATO. “How would the United States react if it delivered a rocket near the border with Canada or Mexico?” He asked sharply.
Putin’s increasingly militant rhetoric, coupled with the accumulation of Russia’s huge army at the Ukrainian border, prepares the Kremlin to bring the country back into Russia’s sphere of influence and prepare for an invasion to prevent its accession to NATO. It suggests that it is. Europe may be heading for the worst interstate conflict since World War II.
However, given the costs that Russia may face if it invades its neighbors, war is largely unforeseen. Ukrainian troops are not yet comparable to Russia, but far more to protect the country than in 2014, when Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula and intervened in the eastern Donbas region to support pro-Russian separatists. Is excellent. Russia’s aggression has alienated most Ukrainians and may have caused widespread resistance as Russia attempts to occupy most of the country. Not only is Russia suffering many casualties, Putin can anticipate severe economic sanctions that the United States and its European allies are currently weighing heavily.
Diplomacy has reasonable potential to avoid conflict, as Russia faces such obvious downsides if it chooses to war. Indeed, Moscow recently released a detailed agenda for wide-ranging negotiations on European security. Many of Russia’s proposals are not innovator, but the United States and its European partners appear to be ready to get involved, suggesting that negotiations with the Kremlin could begin early next year. increase. In preparation, Western allies need to identify a combination of candies and whips that enhances the attractiveness of diplomatic routes to de-escalation, while raising the expected costs of Putin’s choice of war.
As for carrots, NATO needs to reassure the Kremlin that it will not integrate Ukraine or turn the country into an outpost for the best weapons in the west. Attacks and coercions against Russia’s neighbors are unacceptable, but concerns about the invasion of militarized Ukraine into NATO are understandable. When other powers appear at their doorstep, they don’t like it.
Nevertheless, US President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts have the right to deny Putin’s request for assurance that NATO will not offer accession to Ukraine. After all, one of the core principles of the alliance is to give sovereign states the freedom to choose geopolitical alliances.
But in reality, Ukraine’s NATO member countries are not included in the card. Recognizing it not only stimulates Russia, but also supports the alliance by protecting a country with a border with Russia of 1,500 miles (2,414 km). Biden has already revealed that Ukraine’s potential NATO accession is “school holidays” and that sending US combat troops to the country is “not on the table.”
That reality creates the beginning of diplomacy. By joining NATO, which requires the consent of all members, Biden can be confident that Putin is not considering Ukrainian membership. And NATO member states can provide assurance that they will impose quantitative and qualitative restrictions on the weapons they provide to Ukraine. The alliance, on the other hand, can at least theoretically support its open door policy. Such an understanding may not extend to Putin’s request for codified guarantees, but should be sufficient to alleviate his fear that Ukraine will become a NATO garrison on the southern frontier of Russia.
The United States also needs to lead efforts to implement the Minsk Agreement. This is the roadmap negotiated in 2014 and 2015 to end Russia’s intervention in Donbas. The deal envisioned that Ukraine would provide a measure of regional autonomy for areas currently dominated by Russian-backed separatists. In return, Russia will stop proxy wars and Ukraine will regain control of Donbas.
Despite the best efforts of France and Germany to help mediate the Minsk deal, both Ukraine and Russia stumbled upon them, so the implementation went nowhere. Washington needs to work with Paris and Berlin to advance the Minsk process. The West and Russia will probably need to agree on disagreements over Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, but the Minsk framework has promises to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people. increase.
If the Kremlin fulfills Minsk’s obligations, Western allies will reduce the economic sanctions imposed after 2014. Also, when relying on Ukraine to keep Minsk’s promises, the Kiev government needs to be pressured to implement anti-corruption measures. Ukraine’s long-term welfare depends not only on ending Russia’s aggression, but also on curbing its oligarchy and eradicating its politics.
Finally, NATO allies should take advantage of Russia’s offer to discuss broader issues of European security. The widening of the rift with the western part of Russia has created a bond that brings Russia much closer to China and boldly makes both Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping bold. However, Russia is a junior partner and must be quietly offended by China’s growing power and ambitions to provide the United States and Europe with the opportunity to pull Russia west. The Kremlin needs to know that improving relations with the West is an option. However, it can prevent predatory actions against Ukraine and troubles in remote areas.
Western nations need to carry out this diplomatic program and at the same time show that they are ready to impose economic sanctions if Russian troops invade Ukraine. The agenda is to exclude Russia from the SWIFT international payment system, sanction major Russian banks, abolish the Nord Stream 2 Russia-Germany gas pipeline, and target Putin’s inner oligarchs.
Allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also need to be clear that they are ready to strengthen the eastern frontier and help arm Ukrainian resistance in the event of Russia’s invasion. Putin tends to opt for battles that can be won at a relatively low cost. He needs to know that the invasion of Ukraine can be very expensive.
The United States must lead NATO’s decisive efforts to give diplomacy a chance, while imposing severe sanctions in the event of diplomatic failure. That approach provides the best way to avoid conflicts that do not produce winners. – Project Syndicate

•• Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University and a senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, attended the US National Security Council from 2014 to 2017.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706833/A-diplomatic-way-out-in-Ukraine Ukrainian diplomatic method

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