Before and during the war… The intractability of diplomatic means to resolve the Ukrainian crisis

BY: Basma Anwar  

The Russian invasion entered its second year, which invaded the Ukrainian lands on the twenty-fourth of February 2022 AD, during which Moscow was able to control 4 Ukrainian provinces and annex them under its sovereignty. The past year witnessed fierce battles between the two sides of the conflict – Moscow and how – that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands before the invasion. On the common border between them, and beyond it inside the Ukrainian lands, which exceeded 100,000 Ukrainian forces, in addition to the killing of 30,000 civilians, 180,000 dead and wounded in the ranks of the Russian army, according to estimates published by the Norwegian Chief of Staff, and huge numbers of weapons and military equipment were destroyed. The Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces issued a statement in which it referred to the Russian military losses of “3,098 tanks, 6,167 armored fighting vehicles, 2,086 artillery systems, 437 multiple-launch rocket launchers, and 218 air defense systems.” Inside Ukraine, the infrastructure of many provinces was destroyed, which incurred major losses to the latter. It will reach more than 130 billion dollars during the war year 2022 AD.

On the first anniversary of the war, President “Putin” delivered a speech before the Russian Parliament, which was awaited by the whole world due to its importance in its timing and contents, through which he emphasized that Ukraine and the West left Russia no choice but to carry out the military operation and the West’s quest for hegemony, and that they were the ones who carried out He launched this war from the beginning, and pointed out that the special military operation – as he called it – aimed at confronting what he described as neo-Nazis in Ukraine, which turned into a war because of the West’s support for Ukraine with weapons, and pointed out to “Donbass” that it was waiting for Russia’s help for its people, and stressed that Moscow It strongly defends not only its interests, but also a multipolar world, and in a strongly worded tone, “Putin” sent several messages to the West, especially the United States of America, that he is fully prepared to enter into a war of attrition, and given his declaration that the “Sea of Azov” has become the sea of Russia internally carrying An important message that “the matter is finally over” regarding the four provinces that included them under its sovereignty and in which investment has already begun, and therefore these regions will not return, and its content lies in the fact that it is not possible to negotiate Russia’s return to the so-called 24 lines February 2022, and this means that Putin closed the doors to the West in this direction.

Earlier this year, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel made several statements that sparked a lot of controversy among Ukraine’s opponents as well as its Western allies alike, when she said that the “Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015” were intended to give Kiev more time. To enhance its military capabilities, Ukraine took advantage of this opportunity well and became stronger today than it was then, and that one of the most important goals of these agreements was to buy time to arm Ukraine, meaning that its primary goal was not to find political ways to solve the crisis at the time, which raised Moscow’s surprise although it was expected That from the West, but it always assumed that the German leadership acted “sincerely” despite knowing that Germany is supportive of Ukraine. Nevertheless, it seemed to Moscow that it had always been sincere in its efforts to find a solution based on the principles that were agreed upon within the framework of the “Minsk” process. Therefore, he indicated President Putin in a speech to parliament that Germany and the West were not sincere in their endeavors for peace, and they do not hide their goals to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, and described these talks as “deceptive”, and the promises of Western leaders were just excuses to buy time To prepare Ukraine for confrontation, “although Moscow was open and ready for dialogue, and always sought security guarantees for all in equality and justice. He also described it as a “sitcom”, stressing that the West started the war, that Russia tried and is still trying to stop it, that they ignited the conflict with Ukraine and used it as an attempt to eliminate Russia forever, and that the West is primarily responsible for fueling and escalating the Ukrainian conflict and for the number of victims.

And by analyzing the scene and reactions, the state of “lack of credibility” has become dominant in the arena of conflict between the parties and allies, and despite the escalation of the situation, the world hopes to find a peaceful solution accepted by the parties and be able to extinguish the flames of conflict, which may devour it in its green and dry way, and in this research paper We will review the diplomatic agreements and talks between Russia and the Western camp before the war as diplomatic attempts to resolve the crisis, and the most important proposals that were put forward during the war to revive the Russian-Ukrainian negotiation and to defuse the burning crisis, and the situation on the conflict arena:

First: International agreements and talks before the invasion:

The Russian-Ukrainian border – before the military operation took place – was an arena of bloody conflict between the two sides, which resulted in the deaths of thousands on both sides. Therefore, the West tried to intervene to calm the border tensions and stop the bloodshed all the time:

Minsk I: The agreement was drafted on September 5, 2014, by the tripartite contact group “Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE”, which was established in June of the same year as a means to facilitate dialogue and conflict resolution in eastern and southern Ukraine. Negotiations began in ” Minsk, the capital of Belarus, under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which aims to establish peace in eastern Ukraine, in conjunction with the events that took place near the city of Ilovaysk in eastern Ukraine. During the negotiations, Irina Herashchenko, representative of Ukraine in the contact group, spoke The tripartite – which includes “Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe” – about the conditions of the negotiations after the battle, and said: “The battle of Ilovaisk is a great tragedy and one of the worst tragedies that occurred during these years. About 300 of our soldiers were killed. It was very frightening during the negotiations to hear They kill, and decisions must be taken under this pressure. This was Putin’s tactic at the time, which he used more than once during subsequent negotiations.” Interfax Ukraine quoted a local military official as saying that 87 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a battle. Ilovaisk, where they remained besieged by pro-Russian separatists for a week. On the other hand, Moscow announced the killing of a Russian photojournalist in eastern Ukraine during an attack by Ukrainian soldiers on a convoy of vehicles while he was reporting on events.

This agreement was concluded to end the devastating conflict that led to the deterioration of relations between East and West. The text of the protocol consists of twelve points, revolving around establishing an armistice and establishing peace in the region, as follows:

Ensure an immediate bilateral cease-fire.                                    –

– Ensure monitoring and verification of the ceasefire by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

– Decentralization of power, through the adoption of the Ukrainian Law “On the Temporary System of Local Self-Government in Certain Regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”.

– Ensure permanent monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian border and verification by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe with the establishment of security zones in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The immediate release of all hostages and illegal detainees.        –

– Develop a law that prevents the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that occurred in some regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

Continue the comprehensive national dialogue.                          –

– Take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbass.

– Ensure the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian Law “On the Temporary System of Local Self-Government in Certain Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast”.

– Withdraw illegal armed groups and military equipment as well as fighters and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.

– Adoption of the economic recovery and reconstruction program for the Donbass region.

During these negotiations, Russia and Ukraine were able to sign an armistice agreement and establish peace in the border area, but armed men immediately violated the ceasefire and other points of this agreement, and the war did not stop in the Donbass region, and two days before the agreement was concluded, calls were issued. From President “Putin” on September 3, 2014, to a peace plan in Ukraine that can be agreed upon in the negotiations that will take place between Kiev and the separatists in the Troika, where he called on the Ukrainian government forces and the Ukrainian separatists to cease-fire and agree on broad lines for an armistice that would end The four-month-old war, which led to the deaths of more than 2,600 people, came his call a day before the NATO summit, during which Western leaders, led by US President Barack Aoyama, at the time intended to strengthen their defense of eastern Europe in the face of Russian aggression. Putin did not have universal support. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk rejected Putin’s plan, saying it was an attempt to deceive the West into avoiding sanctions and avoiding the inevitable decisions of the European Union to impose sanctions. new to Russia.

The commitment to the agreement lasted only two months until the violations began in early January 2015, after extensive clashes broke out again between the separatist forces and the Ukrainian regular forces, and in addition to Moscow’s disregard of the “Minsk” agreement, none of it was implemented, as it did not release the hostages and did not It withdraws its forces and thus the sanctions remain in force. The former representative of Ukraine in the tripartite contact group, Roman Pesmertny, considers that Ukraine must change the form of negotiations, otherwise no progress will be achieved.

Second Minsk: Following the escalation of the situation again, as a result of the failure of the “First Minsk”, Germany and France intervened as a mediating party to stop the fighting and contain the tense situation that could turn into a real war with Russia, which is a disastrous scenario that European diplomacy has done everything in its power to avoid. Several new negotiations resulted in a package of measures called “Minsk II” on February 12, 2015, which is a detailed roadmap for resolving the conflict in Ukraine, through a plan containing 13 items, starting with a ceasefire in the eastern provinces of Ukraine and conducting effective monitoring of the progress of the implementation of the ceasefire. And the need to strictly adhere to it and to hand over heavy weapons to the separatists from the front lines, under the supervision of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Dialogue has begun about the form of holding local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution with the law “Temporary Self-Government in Donetsk and Luhansk Provinces”, and the implementation of a general amnesty and the release of all detainees and prisoners. Based on the principle of “all for all”, and the Ukrainian government’s restoration of control over the borders of the eastern state after holding elections and a comprehensive political settlement, and a constitutional reform that assumes decentralization in Yeh, the exchange of prisoners between the separatists and the regular forces in Ukraine, and the preparation for local elections with an amnesty for the military and separatist fighters. It was taken over by separatists, who Europe claims have the full support of Russia.

Ukraine pledged to implement constitutional changes providing for “decentralization”, in exchange for the withdrawal of all “foreign armed formations”, referring to Russian support, and the restoration of border control by the Ukrainian regime, but the agreement was broad and did not dictate certain mandatory steps for any party, despite Officials from both sides are committed to the agreement on the surface, and they say that “there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreement”, but there are no real opportunities to fully implement the agreement on the ground, even after imposing economic sanctions on Russia, and both the European Union and Ukraine have insisted on a complete cease-fire. Before proceeding with the implementation of the agreement, Russia adhered to its strategic interests in Crimea, and Russia accused the Ukrainian side of not fulfilling its political promises. Former Ukrainian President “Petroy Poloshenko”, strong resistance from them and motivated pressure to give them enough autonomy, the scene on the Ukrainian scene has become in the Russian interest, as the separatist movement in Ukraine It is loyal to Russia, and it has control over the Ukrainian lands that guarantee Russia the existence of a buffer zone between it and Europe, and despite the armistice agreement on the cease-fire, the cease-fire in Ukraine is still fragile.

Also, this agreement failed to stop the fighting, but the “Minsk” agreements remained the basis for any future solutions to the crisis, and the assessment of the Minsk Agreement is still confused.

However, with the changes in the international situation in general and the impact of these changes on the European Union, and then on Ukraine politically and economically, which, in parallel with the internal crisis, caused a deterioration in conditions and a decrease in the standard of living, calls for the Ukrainian government to implement the Minsk Agreement and to resolve the conflict politically, which led to the downfall of Former Ukrainian President “Petro Poroshynki” and his current, who were completely opposed to the idea of [autonomy], and the supremacy of “Vladimir Wilensky” and his assumption of the reins of the country after the elections in May 2019.

Despite the lack of commitment to the Minsk Agreement and the continued escalating violations, what followed is the basic framework for all parties participating in the ceasefire, and there is no other alternative platform for it, says Alexander Hugh, Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Ukraine: “If the two parties do not talk The only alternative is the military.” He also stressed that the dialogue between the two sides is still continuing, as it was agreed to remove mines from 12 areas. This is a step forward that should be welcomed, because mines constitute a real obstacle to achieving other basic tasks, at least, from the point of view Humanity,” and this was also emphasized by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her speech at the Normandy Quartet – and we will present it later – about discussing the necessary solutions to calm the bloody rivalry, so the agreement is the only way forward.

The 13 clauses of the “Minsk 2” agreement came about the proposed goals and proposals in the first, including:

– The first of which is the cease-fire in Donetsk and Luhansk, and adherence to it strictly.

– The agreement also provided for the withdrawal of all heavy weapons by both sides at an equal distance, with the aim of establishing a security buffer zone from the current separation line for the Ukrainian forces and from the separation line that was set in September for the Donbass forces.

– In addition to ensuring effective monitoring of the progress of the implementation of the cease-fire, and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the side of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from the first day of withdrawal.

– The agreement also provided for the launch of a dialogue after the first day of withdrawal, on the form of conducting local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and the law on the temporary self-government system in specific regions of the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as on the future system for these regions according to the aforementioned law.

– The agreement provided for securing the implementation of the general amnesty, through the entry into force of the law to prevent the prosecution and punishment of persons linked to the events in Donetsk and Luhansk, and the release and exchange of all prisoners and detainees according to the principle of “all for all”, provided that this process ends within 5 days at most after the withdrawal of forces.

– The seventh item provided for securing humanitarian access to the needy in accordance with international regulations, in addition to defining forms of full resumption of social and economic contacts, including social transfers such as pension salaries and others.

– The Normandy Quartet also agreed to restore the Ukrainian government’s full control over the state’s borders in all areas of conflict, provided that this process begins on the first day of the local elections and ends after a comprehensive political settlement.

– The tenth item provided for the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, heavy weapons and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory under the supervision of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the disarmament of all illegal groups. As for the eleventh item, it stipulated a constitutional reform in Ukraine with the entry into force of the new constitution until the end of the year 2015, which assumes decentralization, in addition to the enactment of permanent legislation on the special status of specific regions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions until the end of 2015.

– Agree on issues of local elections with the representatives of the designated regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions within the framework of the Tripartite Contact Group and conduct elections in compliance with OSCE standards.

– As for the last item, they stipulated the intensification of the work of the tripartite contact group through the establishment of working groups to implement the provisions of the Minsk Agreement, which is supposed to put an end to the Ukrainian crisis.

But this plan has been frozen and failed, and Moscow repeatedly accuses Kiev of obstructing its implementation, and the United Nations estimates that the clashes between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists have claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Normandy Quartet: In December 2019, the “Normandy Quartet” was launched in the French capital, “Paris”, to settle the conflict in the “Donbass” region in southeastern Ukraine. The summit was held between “Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, on the prospects for settlement.” The framework of the Normandy Quartet on June 6, 2014, and they were discussing the “Minsk II” agreement and binding the parties to the conflict to its terms, but it was soon violated and the asylum chain returned to new negotiations to calm the situation and stop bloodshed on the Ukrainian borders.

The summit began with bilateral meetings between them, then was followed by the long-awaited quadripartite summit meetings three years ago after the previous summit, during which the details of the dispute were presented and solutions were put on the negotiating table. Indeed, the summit succeeded in bringing together the parties to the conflict – Russia and Ukraine – for the first time in years that they did not meet face-to-face. Face to face, where the main task of Berlin and Paris was to achieve any positive step, big or small, related to ending the crisis, a cease-fire, or even a rapprochement between the two parties, or obtaining new promises, and they also succeeded relatively in providing an atmosphere described as “promising” on the basis that the results of this would be enhanced. The summit will start with a new one after four months, and until that time the foreign ministers should work to find a formula for organizing local elections in Donbass, which tops the agenda of the summit in the spring of 2020, in addition to the approval of the leaders during the Normandy Quartet on the exchange of prisoners by the end of the year 2019, as it was agreed on Conducting a process of separation of forces in three new regions, in addition to the Organization for Security and European Cooperation carrying out monitoring tasks in Donbass around the clock, provided that the “Minsk” agreement remains the basis for conflict settlement, with the commitment to Full terms of the cease-fire.

On the contrary, the Russian position remained steadfast, as Moscow stated that it had not reached a final agreement with Ukraine regarding the extension of the transfer of Russian gas through it, with confirmation that the relevant ministry and officials would continue their discussions in this regard, and it was not agreed on how to implement the provisions of the Minsk Agreement. The capabilities of the Ukrainian president that failed to bear fruit in the summit, because he was under the pressure of the internal opposition, which demanded the president in a massive protest not to make concessions, and the protesters declared that the goal was to put pressure on the president to discourage him from concluding agreements that contradict Ukrainian national interests, such as Kiev’s agreement to change the constitution and conduct Elections in light of the status quo in Donbass without corresponding steps from the Russian side, and the protesters threatened that their activities might become open if “Welensky” crossed the red lines and acquiesced to “Putin’s” conditions, as they put it. In contrast, the “Second Minsk” agreement stipulated that Donbass would obtain status Special, the Ukrainian constitution changes, the region gains new autonomy, the economic blockade is lifted, a general amnesty is implemented, and only after that Ukraine gets control of the borders, and they wanted the “Welensky” of the Turks In the opposite direction, he was unable to implement the cease-fire in all regions, so how would he control the borders?

Russia’s concern is increased by the instability of the Ukrainian internal situation because it is of the utmost importance to it given that it is located directly on its borders, as it does not want to have on its borders the danger of gangs, some of whom do not hide their loyalty to fascist ideology, and others who are extremists who serve Western interests hostile to Russia, especially since the President The Ukrainians are still apparently unable to fully control the internal situation in the country, which prompts Russia to worry about the security of its western destination.

As a result of the continuing dispute and the instability of relations between the two countries – Moscow and how – in addition to the escalation of the Ukrainian internal situation, the organization of the new summit of the group, which was expected to be held in the German capital “Berlin” in Berlin, failed. 2020.

European Threats: During the last years of the conflict and before the invasion, Ukraine often warned the European Union and the West of a large Russian military presence on its eastern borders, and of turning the Crimean lands into a huge Russian military base that threatens its security and the security of the continent and the world, which increased the possibility of an all-out war between Russia. And Ukraine, especially Moscow’s doubling of its military build-up on the Ukrainian border, in addition to the increased presence of NATO on Ukrainian soil, which fueled the conflict and prolonged the crisis instead of resolving it.

Most European countries have agreed to condemn Russia and impose more sanctions on it if it does not back down from interfering in Ukrainian affairs and using the “guardianship policy” on it, which may escalate into a military invasion. Therefore, the European Commission has declared its readiness to impose sanctions on Russia in the event of an escalation. Regarding Ukraine, both Germany and Britain sent Moscow several warnings of its expansion, which in turn escalates the situation, which will have dire consequences if it launches a military attack on Ukrainian territory, and that it will pay a “heavy price” and that the incursion into Ukraine would be a “strategic mistake”.

In the confrontation, Belarus, Russia’s close ally, made several threats to Europe by sending waves and crowds of refugees and illegal immigrants, and declared its readiness to deploy Russian nuclear weapons on its soil in response to a possible similar move by NATO to deploy nuclear weapons in Poland, and the European Union’s foreign policy official, “Joseph Borrell, revealed The European Union is discussing with the United States and Britain the possibility of imposing a new package of economic sanctions on Russia, but no fateful decisions will be taken at that time.

Previously, America and the European Union imposed economic sanctions on Russia in July 2014 targeting its energy, banking and defense sectors. In 2021, they discussed the possibility of taking further measures in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, and they are preparing for deterrence. Kiev called on its Western allies to take action to prevent any Russian invasion. She stressed that the attack is likely to start in the blink of an eye, and the Russian crowds on its borders were estimated at about 115,000 military personnel, and that its borders are witnessing an actual war and skirmishes between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists, and if Russia decides to invade Ukraine, the conflict may extend to Europe, and that if Russia starts a scenario Of any kind, it will also begin to take measures against NATO members, and in return it has warned Russia against the expansion of the military infrastructure of NATO in Ukraine and said that in the event of the emergence of a missile system that can reach Moscow, the Russian response will be similarly. To NATO expansion near its borders? And she rejected all the accusations leveled at her about deploying her forces on the Ukrainian borders for a military purpose against Ukraine, and said that she can transfer forces on her lands as she wants, and her country has no military plans to invade Ukraine, and she expressed her concern about the major military exercises that took place near her borders, indicating that it would pose a threat on Moscow.

The strategy of “international sanctions” did not succeed in “deterring” Russia in light of its indifference to sanctions and its adherence to the red lines, and Putin’s stress that only Russia determines where these “red lines” reach. by Western countries near its borders.” And US President “Biden” responded that he does not respect the red lines of any party regarding Ukraine, especially after massive Russian military build-ups were detected in 4 locations near Ukraine that were monitored by the CIA via satellites as a Russian plan. To cause multiple attacks against Ukraine during the first months of the new year 2022. On the Ukrainian side, he did not make any concessions and did not back down from his goals of joining the NATO bloc ?

Phone talks between “Biden and Putin” : Days before the invasion, Russia expressed its willingness to start negotiations quickly on the two draft Russian documents on legal security guarantees, which include provisions on mutual security guarantees in Europe, including non-deployment of medium and short-range missiles in access areas. To the opponent’s land and the alliance gave up on continuing its expansion. Indeed, President Putin called on NATO to start substantive negotiations aimed at providing Russia with reliable and long-term security guarantees. He made it clear that these documented legal guarantees are the most important thing that Moscow wants, because he believes that his Western counterparts have not fulfilled their verbal commitments.

Moscow remained in a state of awaiting and eagerness for any response from the United States and NATO to its proposals as soon as possible, but neither Washington nor NATO set dates for responding to them. To a new round of confrontation.

And at the level of the United States of America, for its part, rejected the role of tutelage exercised by Russia on the countries independent of the former Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, and its dictation of the independent of these countries.

The Secretary-General of NATO, “Jens Stoltenberg,” with his counterpart, the US Secretary of State, “Anthony Blinken,” discussed the recent developments, especially in the phase of the Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian borders, and they expressed their common concern, and NATO’s dual-track approach towards Russia was discussed, and he indicated that NATO is still The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe announced that there is a strong determination on the part of the Ukrainian government forces and the forces in eastern Ukraine to fully comply with the measures to strengthen the cease-fire agreement issued on July 22, 2020.

On the other hand, the first contact took place between Washington and Moscow in early December 2022 via a phone call between them to discuss developments on the Ukrainian border, but Biden did not make any concessions to his Russian counterpart, to reduce the military build-up on the border with Ukraine, and America assured its allies that it is committed to Article Five. From the NATO Treaty, which states that “any attack on one of the members of the alliance is considered an attack on all its members.” Ukraine reassured that it is firm in its commitment to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that it will respond with the allies with economic measures and other strong measures in the event of a military intervention from the side Russian.

In late December, I held a second phone call, requested by President Putin, where the two leaders began to indicate their support for a diplomatic track to resolve the Ukrainian crisis with the support of the West, during which the Russian side emphasized that it did not threaten Ukraine, but that it was protecting itself from any possible hostility from the West, who support Kiev, especially In its dispute with the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, the US president repeated his warning of a strong US response if any military invasion of Ukraine took place.

Russia was looking forward to tangible results in the January 2022 talks, which were agreed to be held early last year in Geneva, and in return the White House called on Russia to reduce the escalation on the Ukrainian border to calm the situation and waved to its Russian counterpart to impose sanctions the likes of which it had not seen before in the event Invading Ukraine, and Moscow commented on Washington’s threats during the call that this would be a grave mistake and could lead to dangerous results if not the most dangerous and it hopes that this will not happen.

In addition to urging his Russian counterpart to calm tensions with Ukraine, Biden laid out two tracks:

One:  diplomacy and de-escalation.

The other: for deterrence, including costs and serious consequences such as economic sanctions, strengthening NATO’s power position, Ukraine’s military aid, and more.

Assessing this last call, it did not bring anything new in the process of diplomatic solutions, but rather included reaffirming the positions of both countries, including Washington’s repeated warnings to Moscow of dire consequences awaiting Russia in the event of its aggression against Ukrainian sovereignty. Therefore, these phone calls have failed and could not reduce degrees of political tension.

January 2022 talks: Following the previous phone talks between “Putin and Biden”, it was agreed to hold other talks between the two countries on January 10, 2022 in Geneva to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, and then two other meetings will follow on January 12 and 13, 2022 with Moscow. It was decided to hold the first meeting with “NATO” and the second with the “Organization for Cooperation in Europe”, which includes the United States of America, and both parties will present their concerns and proposals to solve the crisis on the table, and “Washington” confirmed that Ukraine’s interests will be present in Any agreement reached will not be ignored, and during the conversation between them, the situation on the Ukrainian border and Russia’s military activities in the border area will be discussed, and Moscow was seeking to focus the dialogue on the list of demands for security guarantees that it had previously provided to NATO and the United States of America, and it was expected that no agreement would be reached. deal in one day.

Washington and its European allies faced obstacles during talks with Moscow at NATO headquarters in Brussels, seeking to avoid a new conflict in Ukraine. 30, agreeing to the fundamental demands of Moscow related to a new security order in Europe, especially that Russia will not have the right to block Ukraine’s possible accession to the alliance in the end, and so it was all difficult and described as disappointing, which was followed by the occurrence of the actual Russian invasion.

Diplomatic movement during the war “opportunities for peace”:                                         

Since the invasion, there has been a diplomatic movement in light of the contradiction, divergence, and the increase in fighting and arming as attempts at mediation, and whenever an opportunity for peace was born and led to its infancy, so that each party adhered to its conditions that are completely contradictory with the conditions of the other party to accept negotiation, and at a later time Britain warned against exploiting Russia for negotiations Peace to rebuild its army, amidst international statements and calls to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, then it announces the failure of negotiations with the West, and therefore all the proposals that were presented to the two sides of the conflict during the war failed, and the last of these attempts was the Chinese proposal, which laid out its plan for a solution and emphasized the support Peaceful settlement efforts, and China expressed its readiness to continue working with the international community to play a constructive role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis politically on the basis of the “proposed paper”.

Beijing urged the two parties to the conflict to resume direct dialogue between them as soon as possible, and stressed that negotiation is the only way to resolve the crisis. Regarding the Global Security Initiative, it listed 20 main directions for cooperation to show a clear road map for achieving global security. The paper that clarifies the Chinese position on resolving the Ukrainian crisis politically presented 12 principles, as follows:

The first clause: states that the sovereignty of all countries must be respected, that “all countries are equal, regardless of their size, power or wealth,” and that international law must be applied uniformly and double standards abandoned.

The second item : renunciation of the Cold War mentality. The document noted that “the security of one country cannot be guaranteed at the expense of the security of other countries, and regional security cannot be ensured through the strengthening and even expansion of military blocs,” and that it is necessary to “respect the legitimate interests and security concerns of all countries and address them appropriately”.

Third item : stop fighting and conflict. Beijing made it clear that “there is no winner in conflicts and wars,” and that all parties must show rationality and restraint, not add fuel to the fire, and not allow further escalation and the Ukrainian crisis to get out of control, stressing the need to resume direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev as soon as possible.

Article Four : Launching Peace Negotiations. The Chinese document stressed that “dialogue and negotiations are the only real way out of the Ukrainian crisis,” and that all efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution and creating conditions and providing a platform for the resumption of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine should be encouraged.

Fifth item : the solution to the humanitarian crisis. The Chinese document called for supporting all measures that would mitigate the effects of the humanitarian crisis, with humanitarian operations adhering to “the principles of neutrality and justice” and avoiding the politicization of humanitarian issues.

Sixth item : Protection of civilians and prisoners. Beijing called for strict adherence to international humanitarian law, not targeting civilians and civilian sites, and protecting the rights of prisoners, expressing support for the exchange of prisoners of war between Moscow and Kiev.

Seventh Article : Preserving the safety of nuclear plants. The document cited the need to counter armed attacks on peaceful nuclear facilities such as nuclear power plants, and called for support for the IAEA’s “constructive role” in enhancing the security of nuclear facilities.

Eighth Item : Reducing Strategic Risks. Beijing affirmed the inadmissibility of using nuclear weapons or waging a nuclear war, and called on Beijing to combat the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and the need to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Article 9 : Guaranteeing the export of grain. China called on all parties to comply with the Black Sea Grain Transportation Agreement, also noting that the international food security cooperation initiative proposed by China “could provide a real solution to the global food crisis problem,” according to the document.

Article Ten : Abandoning the imposition of unilateral sanctions. Beijing confirmed that it does not agree with the misuse of unilateral sanctions in the context of the Ukrainian conflict, because the restrictions do not help solve the crisis, but rather create new problems.

Article Eleven : Ensuring the stability of industrial and supply chains. China has called for opposing the politicization of the global economic system and its use as a tool and weapon.

Article Twelve : Post-Conflict Reconstruction. China affirmed its readiness to assist and play a constructive role in post-conflict reconstruction in the conflict zone.

The paper “Concepts on the Global Security Initiative” focused on some important platforms, including United Nations agencies and other international organizations, to promote the implementation of the Global Security Initiative, and thus transform the initiative into concrete actions, and discussed the main ways of cooperation and mechanisms that maintain and enhance global security cooperation, Which will help other countries think deeply about how to deal with common security challenges and work with China to maintain world peace and enhance global security.

The two papers focused on the political settlement of thorny issues such as the Ukrainian crisis through dialogue and negotiations, which benefits all parties and will lead to peace and the resumption of direct dialogue as soon as possible, discussing their legitimate concerns in the negotiations, identifying possible options, giving an opportunity to end the crisis at an early date, and re- Peacebuilding, but the international reactions to it varied:

Germany, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier commented that it contained positive things, but he questioned the possibility of China playing a constructive role in resolving the crisis, but the German Defense Minister said that his country will judge China through its actions and not its words in light of international reports indicating Beijing’s intention to provide Russia with combat drones.

Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in turn, welcomed the Chinese initiative and announced his intention to hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart and stressed that territorial integrity must be respected and Russia must leave all Ukrainian lands. A cease-fire is not only about peace, but about freezing war.

America, its Secretary of State, “Anthony Blinken,” affirmed that his country is studying the initiative and welcomes the end of the war with an emphasis on Ukrainian sovereignty. However, President “Biden” considered his idea of negotiating with China the results of the war in Ukraine “irrational,” especially since Putin’s welcome to the initiative is not a good sign.

Russia welcomed the document, describing it as sincere, and confirmed that it shares Beijing’s proposal for a settlement, and is committed to respecting the United Nations Charter, international humanitarian law, and comprehensive security, in a way that does not enhance the security of one country at the expense of another country, or one group of countries at the expense of another.

NATO believes that China does not have much credibility because it has not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

European Union Commission: She promised that she would consider the principle, but with the background that China has taken sides.

In light of these divergent positions, the “Chinese proposal” was not rejected directly by the West, but it was viewed as general and did not reflect what Western countries were demanding. It is obvious that international laws stipulate respect for civilians and urge not to use nuclear weapons. These are general and logical issues.

By submitting this proposal, China may want to show its unwillingness to get involved in the conflict and that it prefers to be a mediator, but we see that due to its great support for Moscow, it may want to freeze the war – as Zelensky’s advisor indicated – to give Russia more time to rehabilitate its military forces to confront the major powers. This is in addition to his assistance – the Chinese proposal – to Russia in preserving the four regions and tightening its security grip on them, and Washington will not accept Moscow’s stay in these regions, because the latter may use them in the future to launch new attacks on Ukraine, and therefore the United States cannot be trusted in the Chinese proposal, and I demanded it Germany adjusts its position to be more qualified to play a mediating role for peace.

And in every political attempt to resolve the crisis towards calm and sitting at the negotiating table, the two parties present their firm conditions for establishing peace, so Russia presented several main conditions that it did not give up at all costs, which are: keeping the four places that it annexed to it in addition to also the Crimea peninsula, amending the Ukrainian constitution so that it stipulates To renounce joining any military bloc, in reference to NATO, and to return to the policy of neutrality.

Ukraine’s conditions came in complete contradiction with the Russian conditions, as it specified its main condition that Moscow withdraw its forces from all parts of Ukraine, stressing that peace will start from this point, in addition to providing security guarantees for it as a condition for peace, and the need for concerted international efforts to prevent Moscow from launching armed aggression. On it in the future, but the Russian bear sees that he must not lose the war as a necessity for peace, and called on Ukraine to surrender, otherwise the war will continue.

Signs of escalation:                                                                  

Diplomatic efforts are almost impossible for parties to offer arms and peace at the same time. China and Iran provide arms to Russia, while America and NATO support Ukraine. Therefore, China is criticized for providing arms to Russia and playing the role of mediator, and we find the United States always enthusiastic about war more than peace with regard to this crisis. Before the war, it encouraged and supported Ukraine to adhere to its desire to join NATO and put pressure on it not to accept any peace settlement, whether before or during the war.

It seems that the Russian side will not accept any mediation from the West and the United States because it has lost confidence in countries that were acceptable mediators to it before the war, namely “Britain, France and Germany”. Russia is looking forward to more neutral countries, and will not accept the mediation of the West, especially the United States, because of their involvement in the war by supporting Ukraine with weapons. It stated that one of the fundamental reasons for its war is to confront the spread of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, calling for “the need for disarmament and de-Nazification”.

What added to the complexity of the crisis and the high risk of escalation on the ground, was the announcement by German Defense Minister “Boris Pistorius” that joint military exercises will be discussed soon in Poland with Washington and Warsaw, and that it is a strong message to Russia that NATO is becoming stronger and more united, and this announcement came only a few days later. From the statements of the deputy of the Russian Security Council, “Dmitry Medvedev”, in which he said that Russia may have to reach Poland to protect its borders from Western threats towards his country, fears of any military developments on the eastern front of NATO by Russia may increase the possibility of NATO’s military build-up in eastern countries Europe.

This military move seems to have come in response to Moscow’s statements that it will achieve victory in Ukraine and signaled its willingness to move forward to the borders of Poland, which seems to be a response to Poland’s facilitation of Western arms deliveries to the Ukrainian army.

These Russian statements prompted the NATO countries and Warsaw to prepare for any imminent danger on the eastern front of NATO, and what Eastern Europe is witnessing now in terms of military reinforcements shows that the danger is escalating and the size of the limitations has become greater.

On the other hand, diplomatic relations between Russia and some NATO countries, including Estonia, have deteriorated, as Moscow accused it of spreading “Russophobia” and for its demand with its neighbors in the Baltic region “Latvia and Lithuania” for Germany to send its [Leopard] combat tanks to support Ukraine in the face of The Russian invasion, and its accession – Estonia – with other allies by sending more weapons to Ukraine.

The Russian escalation came in response to “Biden’s” visit to Ukraine and his signing with it of a new military aid package, despite the great warnings about the danger of this visit that he – Biden – insisted on it to be a strong message to Moscow that Washington will not back down from standing with Kiev, and after that Moscow announced Suspension of its participation in the “New Star” nuclear treaty, which is the agreement that was signed between Moscow and Washington in 2010 to reduce the number of nuclear warheads and launch platforms, as the two parties to the agreement possess 90% of the total nuclear weapons in the world, and the importance of this agreement is due to the fact that it is the only remaining To monitor nuclear weapons between them after their withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Weapons Treaty in 2019 AD, and the latter was signed between them in 1978, but now that Moscow has suspended its participation in the “New START” treaty, there is no longer any agreement to control nuclear weapons between them.

In conclusion:

the roots of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine are deep, but its basis is that Moscow will not fully accept Kiev’s independence and lose Ukrainian loyalty to it as a close ally, with Kiev’s abandonment of the policy of neutrality on which its independent constitution was based, and its urgent desire – Kiev – to join NATO and this It would make Russia besieged politically, economically, and militarily, so it displayed its military capabilities, as letters addressed to NATO that it would not stand idly by until its expansion reaches its doorstep, and Russia did not give the slightest attention to the international threats and sanctions that the international community waved, and it proceeded On invading Ukrainian lands and annexing 4 provinces to its sovereignty in addition to Crimea, which it seized in 2014, it refused any negotiation regarding the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO, and “political means” did not succeed in finding solutions to this crisis, and the military option became the only solution before Moscow.

There is no accurate and clear-cut assessment so far, who is on the way to winning the war, although Russia managed to control four provinces, but lost its battles in seizing the capital, Kiev, and failed to surround Kharkiv, while Ukraine was able to confront Russian aggression with Western weapons, but it It advanced in “Bakhmut” through its forces alongside the “Wagner” forces, and the opportunities and supplies of the Ukrainian army in this region decreased. The developments of the situation in this region in favor of Moscow led to the destruction of the morale of the Ukrainian army, and it may be a dangerous stage that puts pressure on the Ukrainian president to submit to negotiations with Russia, as there is Exhaustion of the forces of the Ukrainian army as human equipment, so “Zelinsky” demanded that the United States send their soldiers and sons and daughters to defend Ukraine, because it is not only in need of weapons, but it is in dire need of human equipment.

It is difficult to predict the duration of this war, especially since Russia says that it is going until it achieves its goals and the West supports Ukraine militarily, which helps it to withstand the Russian aggression, which prevents it from surrendering or sitting at the negotiating table. The military that Russia decides to carry out, and the second: the size of the weapons used, this is in addition to what the situation will lead to in the event of a large-scale Russian attack, and the size of the counterattack. It is not possible to accurately predict the outcome of the military movement that reached Poland and whether it will expand in the future to other places, this What you will answer for the scene evolves.

It is likely that the time of war will be extended and the war of attrition will continue between the two sides of the conflict, especially after Putin closed the door to negotiating the return of the Ukrainian lands that he annexed to him, and stressed that they have become Russian lands under his sovereignty and will not return, and this will not be accepted by Ukraine at all. Putin’s speech – on the anniversary of the war – clearly notes the extent of the Russian insistence on moving forward with the battle, in addition to Moscow’s declaration of its willingness to enter into a war of attrition, and therefore the mounting indications ignore the long term of the war and its entry into a wider scope, especially since this war is behind its guise of ideologies And several interests, the most important of which is the United States, which pushed Moscow to fall into the Ukrainian trap with the help of NATO by tampering with its strategic yard, and on the other side, the Ukrainian resistance will renew and continue with Western support, along with Moscow’s expansion of its military operations.

The combination is a loser in the battle. Moscow will increase its military losses and the bill of economic sanctions against it will escalate. Ukraine, by increasing the size of the massive destruction that is spreading throughout it, will incur huge losses at all levels. This is in addition to the increase in the economic suffering of the Russian Federation from the repercussions of the long-term war, and Washington’s attempts to narrow the paths of peace due to its clinging to unilateralism. Polarity, in light of the calculations and intertwining of the interests of different parties, the flames of war escalate, which may turn in the future from a proxy war on the Ukrainian stage to a direct war with NATO.

With the possibility that the scales of the equation differ, given that Putin may take unexpected steps by asking to return to the negotiating table with the aim of achieving new goals in his own goal, because if he does not achieve his goals of negotiation, he has the ability to breach the treaty, and looking back, we find Russia has a track record of violating the international treaty Among them is his violation of the “internationally recognized international border treaty between Moscow and Kiev, the Helsinki Treaty, and the Budapest Agreement.” With regard to the US presidential elections scheduled for next year, the Ukrainian crisis had a major impact on this race, as there are significant indications of the American people’s dissatisfaction with their foreign policy. Especially the unlimited tunnels to support Ukraine to confront Moscow, which led to a decline in his popularity, and in return Trump pledged, if he wins the race, to resolve the crisis, which he described as a disastrous war within 24 hours and before he reached the White House, so will the role played by the United States of America in the Ukrainian war change? With the victory of “Trump”, from the one who fuels the war to the mediator who seeks peace?… This is what the American administration, which will take power next year, will answer.


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