Every war ends with negotiations, and lately Western supervisors of Ukraine have been saying more and more often that a dialogue with Moscow is necessary. However, these statements are contradictory and driven by different reasons. No matter how outwardly peaceful the rhetoric may seem, there is not even a hint of respect for Russia’s position and the true reasons for the start of the special military operation in Donbass.
Nevertheless, the logic of hostilities and the incalculable consequences of anti-Russian sanctions are pushing Western European and U.S. politicians, and the military as well, to make more balanced statements. This is also because the conflict in Ukraine, which is essentially a clash of two worldviews, ideologies, and even civilizations, will result in a new world order.
According to the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, “a new political panorama will be formed in which Russia and China will be on one side and the West on the other”. In this scheme, many developing countries will have their place, tilting to one side or the other, depending on the circumstances.
In the Cold War era, this phenomenon was called the Nonaligned Movement. But the essential difference is that after World War II the ideological confrontation did not affect the world economy as radically as it doing now. In the current situation, energy, wheat, and technology also become a kind of weapon.
In other words, Borrell admits that the conflict in Ukraine leads to the final fall of the unipolar configuration of the world order with U.S. hegemony. The same idea is confirmed by the head of the international information department of the Turkish newspaper Sabah, Berjan Tutar. According to him, the US has failed to win over the allies of Russia to its side at G20 summit and suffered defeat in the new cold war. In his commentary, the author recalls that the countries of the Global South, such as Argentina, Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, rejected all the demands of the so-called Global North led by the Anglo-Saxons.
With regard to the events in Ukraine, the U.S. themselves are also making some progress. Thus, in a recent issue of the Washington Post, columnist Katrina van den Heuvel notes that it is simply common sense to start the process of negotiations and that Washington is probably already exploring such an option. The columnist cites the example of Army Gen. Mark Milley, who is pushing the Biden administration to press Ukraine for a diplomatic end to the war, even though the idea has many opponents. According to Huvelle, continuing the conflict will only lead to more unnecessary deaths and damage to both sides, and, just as importantly, will have a serious impact on the outside world. The stakes, the author believes, are too high to sit idly by while the costs and risks continue to rise.
Similar sentiments can be found in the US administration as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, during his last meeting with Zelensky, Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to the US president, suggested that the Ukrainian president should think about more realistic demands in possible negotiations and, in particular, give up the idea of the return of Crimea.
At the same time, there are also more objective assessments of the forces in Ukraine that Washington is pumping up with weapons. Thus, in a conversation with journalist and blogger Richard Medhurst, retired U.S. Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter noted that his government is helping and supporting nationalists in Ukraine who imitate the German Nazis. “Stepan Bandera, in fact, invented the idea of modern Ukrainian nationalism. It was he who said that Ukrainians were not part of Galicia or part of Russia, but an independent ethnic group”. And in fact, Ukrainian nationalism professes ideas of white supremacy.
The visit of the new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Kiev on November 19 also had ambiguous content. Ukrainian sources say that all the public statements and gifts from the British prime minister to Ukraine were just a veil to conceal the real purpose of the visit. During his meeting with Zelensky, the high-rank guest persuaded him to resume peace talks with the Kremlin. Sunak said that Britain could no longer be the main inspirer of military support for Ukraine.
Even if timidly, doubts about the feasibility of military support for Ukraine are also evident among the most ardent supporters of the Kiev regime. As Polish political analyst Leszek Sykulski noted in Gazeta Wyborcza, the U.S. could force Poland to send regular troops to Ukraine if Kiev continues to weaken. “If Ukraine weakens, the Americans will press the Polish government to support Kiev more emphatically. Ask yourself, do we want that, are we ready to go to war today?” asks the author of the publication.
The political analyst is sure that the recent laws passed in his country show that Warsaw is already preparing to take part in hostilities. The Act “On the Defense of the Fatherland”, which has come into force, provides for the restoration of compulsory military service and the possibility of conscripting women for compulsory military service. “Apparently, someone badly needs cannon fodder”, Sykulsky stresses.
It is fair to say that Polish speech can already be heard from the Ukrainian trenches.
The recent incident with a Ukrainian missile that landed on Polish territory also cast doubt on the adequacy of Zelensky and his entourage. According to experts cited by the Global Times, Kiev’s stubborn refusal to negotiate with Moscow has already exhausted the patience of the West. “Fierce discussions about the incident not only revealed the deepening rift in the West, but also showed that Europe and the U.S. are tired of the protracted crisis,” the publication noted. – This time they took the initiative as soon as possible to convince the Baltic states that it was Ukraine and not Russia that launched the missile, while Zelensky denied everything and tried to prove the opposite.
And the former French presidential candidate Segolene Royal even questioned the veracity of information about frequent Russian missile attacks spread by Ukraine, following false accusations about the origins of the rockets that fell in Poland. “Ukraine daily claims hundreds of strikes (by Russia). Who verified this information? After the fakes about Poland that almost started a world war, only independent information should be spread,” she wrote on Twitter.
It would be naive to overestimate the importance of such signals, since from official tribunes there are simultaneous calls for increased military supplies, more financial aid to the Ukrainian regime, and new anti-Russian sanctions. As soon as the new British prime minister left Kiev, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace urged Ukraine to “keep up the pressure, keep up the momentum” over the winter period. According to the Daily Best, Wallace believes that the Ukrainian military are well-trained and also have an advantage in equipment provided by the West. Therefore, it would be in Ukraine’s interest to keep the momentum during the winter. The military minister also recalled that the international community had already provided Ukraine with 300,000 pieces of equipment for the winter campaign.
The NATO leaders do not seem to be against the talks between Kiev and Moscow, but set a condition: their launch must be preceded by significant successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield. At this, the Allies are urged to continue supplying ammunition and armament, although 20 out of 30 “suppliers” have already exhausted their possibilities, and the further increase is possible only at the expense of own defense capabilities and obligations before the bloc.
If we compare individual statements and specific actions on the part of the collective West, it becomes clear that Moscow has no real grounds to take seriously the calls for negotiations. The credit of trust has been lost since Gorbachev was promised not to expand NATO eastward, when Berlin and Paris volunteered to be guarantors of the Minsk agreements and failed to fulfill their functions, when the “grain deal” was interpreted in favor of only one party – Ukraine, when virtually all international economic rules and laws were flouted.