Ukrainian crisis, what can convince Vladimir Putin to stop? –

from Paul Valentino

A compromise could come from the “freezing” of Ukraine’s NATO membership process for the next decade

FROM OUR REPRESENTATIVE BERLIN – Is there a way out of the crisis in Ukraine other than armed confrontation? As Russian forces now surround the country on three sides and the White House plans to send thousands of troops to Eastern Europe, the risk of the situation degenerating becomes a reality every day. It is significant that several Western countries (the United States, Great Britain and Australia in the lead) and Russia itself have begun to repatriate their diplomats from Kiev.

A diplomatic solution not currently on the table. Vladimir Putin’s claims that Ukraine will never join NATO, the Alliance forever renounces expansion and Moscow is once again recognized as having a Cold War sphere of influence are not acceptable. But not all as it appears.

Firstly, because the Kremlin’s tightrope policy, the diplomacy on the brink of the abyss, has already produced the expected result: never since the fall of the USSR has Moscow benefited from the attention and place it claims in the international concert. But mostly because Putin can’t afford a war of aggressionwhich would make Russia for years a pariah of the community of nations and burden it with unsustainable economic costs.

However, from each crisis, one only emerges if each of the suitors is allowed not to lose face. You need a lot of creativity, said a few days ago to messaging Ambassador Richard Burt, the man who negotiated the Start treaty with the USSR for the reduction of strategic missiles. The crucial point is the security guarantees demanded by Putin. The point of departure will probably be to recognize that Ukraine does not meet the requirements for acceptance as a NATO member and it probably won’t for the next decade: widespread corruption, weak democracy, internal conflict and the plight of minorities are insurmountable obstacles. it was Joseph Biden himself who called Kiev’s entry into the Alliance unlikely, indicating that there is room for maneuver in this regard. But nothing more. The United States and NATO would reconfirm the Open Door Policy, which every country has the right to apply for because no one, let alone Putin, can mortgage the future of a sovereign nation.

This could be the formula capable of weakening the other demands, starting with the spheres of influence. A new Biden-Putin summit, the pinnacle of acknowledgment of the Russian autocrat, could lead to some kind of loose deal on security in Europe. The core of US military aid to Kiev would remain, which Putin would like to see reduced. And last but not least, the American nuclear weapon, which the Russian leader no longer wants to station in Europe, even threatening to place his in Venezuela and Cuba in retaliation. But that of disarmament, in the best tradition, is perhaps the easiest part: on intermediate missiles and their positioning, Washington has already shown its willingness to relaunch the INF treaty canceled by Donald Trump.

January 26, 2022 (change January 26, 2022 | 19:43)

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