July 19, 2024
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a press conference after a summit on Ukraine in Paris, France, on Dec. 9, 2019.

6 obstacles to peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia

There is consensus among observers of Russia’s war against Ukraine that it should end as soon as possible. Most Ukrainians couldn’t agree more. Today, one suspects, many Russians would also not mind ceasing the carnage. Why, then, is there still not – and likely will not be any time soon – a negotiated finale to the war?

Pushing for a negotiated ceasefire of some durability, not to mention sustainable peace, between Ukraine and Russia at this moment in time is futile. Following this strategy would not only be inconclusive but could absorb energy needed to pursue more promising paths toward a solution to this war.

There are at least six reasons that hamper compromise between Kyiv and Moscow.

Ukraine’s And Russia’s Constitutions

Ukraine’s and Russia’s constitutions are the highest hindrance to compromise.

Russia illegally annexed Crimea and made it an official part of its pseudo-federation in March 2014. In September 2022, Moscow repeated this move, illegally declaring four of Ukraine’s mainland regions as part of Russia. Russia’s internal legislation was changed to incorporate them within its constitution fully. While, obviously, Moscow’s claims are null and void under international law, they have been fully enshrined into Russia’s basic law, federal legislation, and state structure.

Neither Ukraine’s nor Russia’s constitutions can be easily changed. Theoretically, Ukraine’s constitution could be quickly amended by a two-thirds majority of the Verkhovna Rada, but such a reform would never pass. Under pressure from Berlin and Paris, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tried in August 2015 to change Ukraine’s constitution marginally and temporarily to fulfil the infamous Minsk Agreements. The proposed temporary special status for the Russian-occupied parts of Donbas did not pass parliament. A Ukrainian renunciation of legitimate state territory will never happen.

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March 2, 2024 2:23 pm

There will be nuclear war before peace, if America (without Trump) continues to have a say in it.