November 23, 2022 Wayne Northey

Should Ukraine Give Peace Talks a Chance?

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foreign interests

Nov. 22, 2022

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WN: This is a comprehensive review of the war between Russia and Ukraine and its implications for the world. It was introduced by Archie Bland, thus:

As rumbles about pressure on Ukraine to seek peace talks continue, this Intelligencer piece by Eric Levitz is a smart, even-handed summary of the six questions anyone seeking to influence Kyiv needs to be able to answer.

excerpts:

I am not confident enough in my own answers to these questions to have a strong opinion about the best way forward for U.S. policy. It seems to me that prospects for a near-term peace agreement are slim but that the costs of protracted conflict will be exorbitant — above all, for Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has now killed more than 100,000 soldiers on each side along with 40,000 Ukrainian civilians, according to Pentagon estimates. It has cost Ukraine’s economy more than $1 trillion. The conflict’s collateral damages include energy crises and food shortages.

It is, therefore, worth clarifying the substance of [the debate over the wisdom of near-term peace talks].

First, we need to define our terms. Pursuing “diplomacy” in Ukraine can mean several different things. In a column for Foreign Affairs late last month, the RAND Corporation’s Samuel Charap and Miranda Priebe implored the Biden administration not to “rule out diplomacy in Ukraine.” Yet the authors stipulated that Washington should not “seek to launch direct talks today,” as neither Russia nor Ukraine was ready. Rather, Charap and Priebe counseled the U.S. to “create the conditions for eventual negotiations to succeed” by encouraging Ukraine to “demonstrate openness to the prospect of eventual talks,” moderating “public expectations of decisive victory,” and “keeping all lines of communication with Moscow open, from the president on down.”

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