Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, writes:
As Russia’s total aggression on Ukraine nears its first year, some people in the United States and elsewhere in the West continue to suggest that Ukraine needs to engage in peace negotiations with Russia as soon as possible. They may have good intentions, but they don’t seem to recognize that Russia has not proposed any meaningful talks and remains focused on destroying Ukraine militarily.
But there’s a bigger point that the “peace at any cost” camp ignores: We have already spent over eight years negotiating with Russia.
The so-called peace talks known as the Minsk process was initiated in 2014 and included Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. For eight years, Ukraine and the West tried to end the war by means of politics and diplomacy. Ukraine agreed to freeze battle lines and engaged in years of fruitless negotiations in order to, seemingly, avoid escalation and preserve peace in Europe.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. While we were holding back, Russia was building up. The Minsk process ended when Russia unleashed a devastating total war of aggression on Ukraine at the end of February 2022.
That’s why the entire international community should carefully study the lessons of “Minsk” in order to restore international peace and security today and avoid falling into new Russian traps. [Continue reading…]