Negotiations expected in the West and in Kiev
The US fears that the situation in Ukraine will worsen and is negotiating, including with its Russian counterparts, to prevent this from happening. General Mark Milley, chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces (CNS), said this in an interview with Fox News.
“I believe there is always the possibility of escalation, we need to manage it and assess the risk of escalation.
We’re doing this to manage the climb and prevent it from turning into something worse than it is now,” Milley said, adding that “a negotiated outcome would be a logical choice.”
At the same time, the American military leader stressed that Moscow and Kiev “must come to this conclusion on their own.”
In Ukraine, this result, apparently, has already been achieved. At least they think so in Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that Zelenskiy was ready to meet with Putin during his meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on May 30, 2022.
“Just yesterday, during the negotiations, Zelensky expressed his desire to meet with Putin,” Çavuşoğlu said.
On the same day, Erdogan also met with Vladimir Putin and suggested that the representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the UN hold a meeting in Istanbul.
Is dialogue possible?
Statements that Kiev is ready for negotiations somewhat contradict the words of the same Zelensky a few weeks ago. Then the President of Ukraine announced that he would be ready for negotiations only after the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory. The Russian Foreign Ministry evaluated that such a statement could not be considered “constructive”.
Zelensky later said that he “did not agree to meet with anyone from Russia except the President”. “And if there’s only one question on the table – to end the war. Everything. There is nothing else to talk about,” he added.
Russian international experts interviewed by socialbites.ca believe that there is no need to talk about a change in Kiev’s rhetoric.
“Nothing has fundamentally changed. Kyiv periodically returns to the idea of negotiation, then abandons it. To some extent this is due to the situation at the front and the course of hostilities, but not only. In the West, the approach changes somewhat – in the United States they think about how this war could end and what the consequences of certain consequences will be. But in general, no one expects any negotiations – now there will be no. “All this is shaking things up,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, Russia’s editor-in-chief of Global Affairs magazine.
According to Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are not possible at this stage due to the lack of dialogue.
“Zelensky may even be ready for negotiations with the Lord God – it is one and the same thing. We know what they want. But it is not yet clear what the West and Ukraine are offering to Russia, by definition there can be no negotiations,” he said.
As an example, he cited Italy’s latest proposal to the UN for a peaceful arrangement in Ukraine. Italy’s proposals ensured the full autonomy of Crimea and Donbass as part of Ukraine, their linguistic and cultural identity rights, full self-government and independent security.
“Judging by this offer, ‘nothing’ has been offered to Russia so far. So the idea of negotiation is now a bogus idea.
Because the collective West did not determine what they, along with Ukraine, offered Russia. “Until then, negotiations are impossible and inappropriate,” he said.
What should Moscow and Kyiv talk about?
According to Vladimir Bruter, at this stage of the special military operation “it is not clear what can be discussed in potential negotiations.”
“If Ukraine is ready to sign territorial concessions, which will certainly not be limited to Kherson and part of the Zaporozhye region, then this is a question. But it is difficult to imagine the West accepting that the border between Russia and Ukraine will pass between the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions,” he said.
Fedor Lukyanov agrees: “Negotiations express readiness for compromise and concessions. And for Ukraine today, concessions are the renunciation of a fairly significant part of the territory occupied by Russia. Naturally, Ukraine is not ready for such concessions.”
According to him, the conditions for negotiation will be created only “in the event of a serious military defeat of one of the parties or in a stalemate in hostilities, when it is clear that neither side will be able to achieve anything new for itself.” “
“Then they have a chance to come to negotiations. But so far, neither one nor the other is visible in the long run, ”Lukyanov summarized.