“Russia and Ukraine Play Up Compromise as Peace Talks Set to Resume”

“Russia and Ukraine both emphasized new-found scope for compromise on Wednesday as peace talks were set to resume three weeks into a Russian assault that has so far failed to topple the Ukrainian government.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the talks were becoming “more realistic,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was “some hope for compromise,” with neutral status for Ukraine – a major Russian demand – now on the table.

The Kremlin said the sides were discussing status for Ukraine similar to that of Austria or Sweden, members of the European Union that are outside the NATO military alliance.

Three weeks into the invasion, Russian troops have been halted at the gates of Kyiv, having taken heavy losses and failed to seize any of Ukraine’s biggest cities in a war Western officials say Moscow thought it would win within days.

Ukrainian officials have expressed hope this week that the war could end sooner than expected – even within weeks – as Moscow was coming to terms with a lack of fresh troops to keep fighting.

Talks were due to resume on Wednesday by video link for what would be a third straight day, the first time they have lasted more than a single day, which both sides have suggested means they have entered a more serious phase.

“The meetings continue, and, I am informed, the positions during the negotiations already sound more realistic. But time is still needed for the decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in a video address overnight.”

Comment: The Ukrainians’ best hope lies in continuing to kill Russian soldiers in an effort to demonstrate to Moscow that in fact their campaign is well past the “culminating point” I wrote of earlier.

If I were among the Ukrainian leaders, I would accept the notion of neutralization of Ukraine and the loss of some territory in the east, but I would never accept the idea of the disarmament of the country. Neutrality has worked well for Sweden, Finland and Switzerland BECAUSE they are heavily armed. pl

Russia and Ukraine Play Up Compromise as Peace Talks Set to Resume | Newsmax.com

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24 Responses to “Russia and Ukraine Play Up Compromise as Peace Talks Set to Resume”

  1. TTG says:

    Neutrality as opposed to full NATO membership would be a realistic and reasonable solution. No US/NATO bases in Ukraine should be a given. That shouldn’t affect Western military training and arms sales. IMO a settlement should also include a reopening of the Crimean Canal to let water from the Dnieper River flow to the parched Crimean steppe again, even if permanent Russian occupation is not accepted. In the meantime, continue the strategy of national resistance. It is proving to be a successful strategy to counter massive Russian invasions for all the frontline states. As my great grandmother said and did, “Shoot the Bolsheviki.”

  2. Bill Roche says:

    Pat we both thought, from the start of the invasion, that acceptance/recognition of Russian Crimea (and water for Crimea) and eastern Donbas was necessary. Your comments on Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland are spot on. Ukraine too should accept a compromised independence then arm itself to the teeth. In an earlier post I used the reference of knowing when to fold’em; that time is now! Defenders too can persist past the “culminating point’ can’t they? Although the Ukrainian military remains a credible force, Putin has yet to experience the “Babushka” Brigades in the cities, and the west will continue to arm Zelinskyy; to what end? Col. MacGregor’s latest (yesterday I think) on Ukraine says the game is over and Putin has won. If there’s still time for Ukraine to disengage it is now. Unless you believe, as I do, that Putin’s objective is a long but steady return to 1914. If so, nothing short of all of all Ukraine will do.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Bill Roche
      “Defenders too can persist past the “culminating point’ can’t they?” No. The concept deas only with forces in the offense. IMO Macgregor is wrong.

  3. 505thPIR says:

    Return to pre-war status-quo, nothing short of that! Neutrality, fine. Disarmament/demilitarization, NO! Zero Russian say in domestic Ukrainian affairs. Economic integration with European Community a Ukrainian choice. West should turn-over all seized Russian assets to finance Ukrainian reconstruction and keep in place sanctions until the letter of the “agreement” is realized.

    In the meantime, foot on the gas in terms of suppling Ukraine with the tools to defend itself.

  4. Babeltuap says:

    The right course of action will certainly not be made here but it does appear the absolute worse one will not be made either so at least we can hang our hats on that (for now).

    Valiant effort on his part going back to the well and trying to conjure up the the old sleeping giant. Unfortunately the giant has developed some really nasty bad habits and is actually in hospice smoking cigarettes in bed.

  5. SRW says:

    PL
    I agree with you. Make Ukraine a neutral country like Finland with some expected border shifting in the east. But NEVER fall for the disarmament BS. After this ends, hopefully with Ukraine still a country, arm them to the teeth with defensive weapons. Make them another Finland and with a “DO NOT TREAD ON ME” flag.

  6. Bill Roche says:

    Pat your reference to the “culminating point” nags at me. I don’t know who was the overall aggressor in the three days at Gettysburg but on the last day it was Lee. Did Lee go beyond the culminating point? Did Longstreet tell Lee, without prior knowledge of Pickett’s failure to crest the ridge on the following day, that he was going beyond the Culminating Point of action. Or is that idea just not relevant to Gettysburg? Your opinion?

    • Pat Lang says:

      Bill Roche

      Clausewitx was unknown in America at the time of the Civil War. Jomini was the standard “expert.” Yes. I thin Lee was beyond the “culminating point” of his campaign in Pennsylvania at Gettysburg.

  7. plantman says:

    If there’s no disarmament, there’s no deal. That is the Russian position.

    The problem from the very beginning was that Ukraine was arming and training its people with NATO supervision and joint exercises. Why would Putin allow Ukraine to function as a NATO country in everything but name, when that was the original goal of the mission?

    Ukraine didn’t represent a serious threat to Russia until the weapons started poring in and the joint exercises began. Like Patrick Armstrong said, Putin saw himself as preempting a problem in the future. (I’m paraphrasing)

    And, let’s honest, who are those weapons aimed at?

    Not Europe.

    • 505thPIR says:

      Yeah, you’re being raped and assaulted, it will stop if you throw away your pepper spray and clip your nails. Just disarm, you can trust the assailant on his word. Ukraine did not have anything remotely threatening in terms of offensive weaponry and ability to project power beyond its borders (exception being separatist Donbass regions). No deal Russia, go bleed awhile and think about it.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Lets be honest. Post 1990 every Slavic nation that had any weapons, pointed them east. Finland’s air defense system is aimed east. Aren’t the Finns afraid of the Swedes? No, why is that? The answer is they think any attack on their independence will come from Russia. Can every Slavic nation plus non NATO Finland and Sweden be wrong in regarding Russia as a threat. I highly doubt that NATO thought it was turning Ukraine into the point of the spear into Russia by helping to arm it. Ironically NATO d/n move fast enough. So let’s be honest, what is it about about Russian behavior that frightens its neighbors.

    • Mark Logan says:

      plantman,

      The Russians started going mushy on the disarmament and denazi stuff a few days ago. Here’s just one account.

      https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2022/03/could-zelensky-and-putin-agree-a-ukraine-peace-deal

      It does not appear to be on the current list of demands. Another positive sign is the Chinese had their ambassador publicly praising Ukrainian courage today.
      https://www.newsweek.com/china-praises-ukraine-resistance-pledges-economic-support-1688608

      I would like to see the look on Putin’s face when that news comes in.

  8. Leith says:

    Chief Russian negotiator, Vladimir Medinsky, is not in Putin’s inner circle. So I suspect these peace talks are just a ruse while Putin reinforces, or while he tries to take Odessa. If he was serious he would send Lavrov or Lavrov’s Deputy in the MFA, or one of the heads of his security services.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Leith
      What is he going to reinforce with?

      • Leith says:

        Certainly more Air, Air Defense, & long range artillery assets from throughout the RF.

        Other than that not much: Wagner Group? More Syrians, Chechens & Ossetians, perhaps some Dagestanis? I understand he is bending ears in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for support, and might be successful despite Kazakhstan brushing him off. Armenians? Naval Infantry Brigades from both the Pacific & North Fleets? None of those individually are much, but they add up and could be used to hold down the rear areas.

  9. walrus says:

    Col. Lang , once the troops on both sides learn about the progress of such talks, won’t that immediately affect their will to fight and thus the tempo of operations?

  10. Jessica Sager says:

    I think your assessment is spot on. Seems like this could’ve been agreed upon without any need for combat. I’m told by Wikipedia (sketchy, obviously, but useful as a general starting point) that Ukraine considers the DPR and LPR to be “terrorist organizations”, but I assume the only true “threat” they pose is defending themselves against the state that refuses to let them go. And I assume that if universally recognized as their own republics, they would pose no more threat. Am I crazy to wonder if disagreements over territories were to be first approached and negotiated in good faith, we might avoid a lot of these senseless conflicts? Of course one would have to believe there is actually such thing as good faith and that there aren’t other parties in the background mucking it up.

    Speaking of mucking, and applying my pie-in-the-sky dreaming to the current conflict, is it the influence of the US and its acolytes that preventing a good faith negotiation between Russia and Ukraine in the first place? I mean, it seems like the US will put a bug in the ear of one side that encourages them to fight on in spite of every rational sign that negotiation is not only feasible but favorable to both parties (of which the US is NOT one of – nothing is ever favorable for us if it’s favorable between other spheres, *sigh*). In short, if the US was miraculously not a player, do you think Russia and Ukraine would have had a relationship where they could negotiate interests in peace? Or is there more there than outside agitation? I ask because my 11 year old is growing more and more interested in these sorts of things and I’m too quick to assume my fair country is to blame for most of these sorts of things, probably too cynical as time goes on and evidence mounts. I figure I should try to provide him as much context as possible, seeing as there is basically no books written to his age that are useful. (If anyone knows of books geared toward kids at a middle-high school level, I’d love recommendations. Their curriculum is so disjointed and stale. No wonder kids think history is boring!)

    • 505thPIR says:

      Jessica Sager,

      Sit down and read Timothy Snyder’s book Bloodlands with your child and as you plod through, break it down and explain it to him (tongue in cheek). If you actually do this, you will have but scratched the surface of some of the historical tension. BTW, if the US were not a player, this thing would wind-up unimaginably bigger and more horrible than that which is currently taking place.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT8FQaneLf8

    • fredw says:

      “encourages them to fight on”

      There is some abstract logic to this, but it completely ignores the cost being paid for fighting on. No “encouragement” could get anyone who had a choice to undergo this degree of death and destruction of everything their society has accomplished. They do what they do because they don’t believe they have any choice other than abject slavery. In a similar vein, I read all sorts of things lately about the strength of guerilla war for standing up to regular armies. Again there is truth there, but the people casually saying it seem not have grasped the horrors that even a successful guerilla campaign brings on those who conduct it.

    • Pat Lang says:

      MG
      What is your point? Is it that Martyanov, a former Soviet or Russian naval officer, and MacGregor are geniuses and that Leith, TTG and I are idiots? Well, we will see.

  11. Philip Owen says:

    Ukraine has now called up its reserve and the latest wave of weapons is reaching them. Russian troops are now outnumbered.

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