JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Obstacles to Diplomacy in Ukraine; Russia’s Extreme Demands — and Ukraine’s Desire to Survive — Make Negotiations Unlikely” – Foreign Affairs

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… To make peace in a conflict, both parties have to be willing to accept each other’s minimum demands. And despite the mutual lack of progress, neither Russia nor Ukraine can swallow each other’s requirements. Kyiv, for instance, cannot accept Russia’s demand for new leadership. Moscow cannot accede to Ukraine’s demand for reparations. Both sides will not give up land. No amount of creative diplomacy can alter these facts. For both countries, fighting on remains preferable to making a settlement. … The most likely outcome … is continued fighting. Moscow will keep attempting to conquer much of Ukraine. Kyiv will keep fighting back. Right now, the Russians have the initiative on the battlefield and have declared another round of mobilization. Aid for Ukraine … is stalled in Congress, and the West’s unity is shaky. But the Russians have been unable to produce enough new equipment to replace their losses and are reliant on dwindling Soviet-era stocks. Its economy continues to be squeezed by ever-tightening sanctions. Some Western states have resumed supplying Ukraine, and the government is mobilizing. Russia may gain control of some Ukrainian territory, but Kyiv will remain independent, as will most of the country. The Russian regime will, therefore, remain dissatisfied with its borders, much as it has been since 1991. It will continue to be a revisionist state bent on expanding its territory— by force if necessary. Any durable peace must thus be based on deterrence ….”

Click here for: “The Obstacles to Diplomacy in Ukraine; Russia’s Extreme Demands—and Ukraine’s Desire to Survive—Make Negotiations Unlikely” – Foreign Affairs: Branislav L. Slantchev, Hein Goemans