So far there have been many failed peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Here.

The three most common problems of failed negotiations are according to my netsearch: “mismanagement of expectations; unwillingness to empathize: and lack of preparation”. Here

Who would have the best expertise to perform a successful peace negotiation between Ukraine and Russia? Would it be the UN, the Red Cross, the Vatican, Switzerland, US, China, or some other party? And why would that be so?

  • 2
    There's no guarantee that it's possible for them to negotiate a mutually agreeable peace at the moment (or at any given moment). Negotiation (between people, or between countries) isn't like in a game where if you do it right you get the good outcome. If there simply isn't any possible proposal that both parties find more attractive than continuing the war, then the war will continue until the situation changes such that there is something else both sides will accept. Meditation cannot create an acceptable peace, at best it can only help them find a non-obvious one.
    – Ben
    Jun 11 at 1:49
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    Traditionally, peace negotiations are held between belligerents of the war. Why do you think it would be different in this case? The likely scenarios are that one of the states absorb the other or both agree to stood stop fighting with terms favorable to the party in the best military position.
    – uberhaxed
    Jun 11 at 4:26
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    Hungary, India, Israel, Serbia, Turkey (alphabetically!) all have good standing with both belligerents. And have maintained a positive neutral stance. When both parties are ready they could take a more active role.
    – Rusi
    Jun 11 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


Your net search has missed a key consideration. For successful peace talks,

  • either one side has clearly won, and the terms of the defeat imposed on the other side are formalized,
  • or both sides are equally matched and both found that neither side can win,
  • or the conflict is not a vital national interest for one of the sides and they look for a face-saving way out when it becomes too expensive to win,
  • or a third party is willing and able to impose a settlement on the belligerents.

There is no clear victor yet, but both sides seem convinced that they can still win. Ukraine has held out beyond most expectations, made some successful counterattacks, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Russians. Russia is vastly larger than Ukraine, it is a nuclear power, and almost all the fighting has been in Ukraine, not in Russia. Russia also inflicted heavy casualties.

The Russian government seems to see a victory as a vital national interest. I cannot judge if they could politically survive an 'unsatisfactory' outcome, but Putin might fear to end like Ceausescu if he steps back. For Ukraine, victory is also vital.

No third party can impose terms on the Russians. Terms could be imposed on Ukraine by the threat of cutting of aid, but that is not in the interest of the West at this time. (If Ukraine were to counterattack into Russia, their support might evaporate quickly.)

This armchair analysis matches what the FT writes about the Russia-Ukraine war.

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