Thursday, November 30, 2023



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Statements by governments all over the world indicate that the Russian-Ukraine war is not an isolated incident but should be of concern to all countries and peoples in the world. It is a fundamental principle of the United Nations that all nations, big or small, should co-exist in a state of peace and good neighbourliness.

The African union is intervening to promote peace and good neighbourliness between Russia and Ukraine. Unfortunately, they intervened at such a time when both countries have launched offensives and counter-offensives in the war. Such offensives tend to go until it is clear that objectives could not be attained. When that happens, negotiation may be entertained based on the new realties imposed on the leadership of the two countries. However, Russia must be counselled to recognize that NATO does not have and will never have the military might to impose its will on a nuclear power like Russia or China.

Hence annexing parts of Ukraine does not help Russia attain its objective. What would have posed greater security is a federal system in Ukraine where areas with a large Russian population will have autonomy under Ukrainian leadership. In the same vein NATO must be counselled to acknowledge that neither Russia nor China can impose their will on a nuclear power.

Hence countries with large concentration of both nationalities in their regions should be assisted by encouraging them to establish federations that will enable their populations to co-exist in peace rather than have a state that will adopt policies that would ensure division.

If pre-negotiation discussion leads to discussion of such a future for Ukraine, then Ukraine could accept to be a federation. Then negotiation can be undertaken with great possibility of success.

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At the moment, any experienced diplomat would acknowledge that there is no basis to call the two sides to the negotiating table. Russia is relying on the counter offensive by Ukraine with the support of arms from NATO countries to convince the Russian people that its war in Ukraine is to deter NATO from being a threat to Russia. Once its population accepts this argument, then the government will justify using any means to disarm Ukraine.

On the other hand, NATO may argue that once Russia succeeds in maintaining the annexed territory, it will see itself as the victor in the war and NATO countries will also feel threatened. It is however clear that the intensification of the war cannot lead to any victor. The annexed territories will not be at peace and mainland Ukraine will also not be at peace. Hence both sides will not be in peace. Hence the war will become useless. Those who wish to assist Ukraine and Russia should make the reality evident to them.

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