Ukraine has politically banned any peace negotiations with Putin (see "Zelensky signs law that rules out Ukraine peace talks with Putin as ‘impossible’").

But Musk recently blogged:

"Another $65B to Ukraine? What’s the exit strategy?" Musk wrote on X (formerly Twitter), commenting on a post with a screenshot of a supplemental funding request, including the allocation of $65 billion to Kiev.

I support Ukraine, but this seems like a forever war with no progress. Just sacrificing the youth of the country for no territorial gain,"

Musk's rhetorical confusion is close to my own. As I understand, the West has another perspective on the conflict, but they haven't ruled out a diplomatic solution that involves them and / or between Ukraine and Russia. The West do blame Russia, and believes it should be punished. Any talk of prolonging the war however is tactical, not strategic. So, what's the exit strategy of west that is something in between of punishing Russia and prolonging the war?

Musk was also talking about diplomatic solutions just before Ukraine banned any peace negotiation with Putin.

So, does the west have any peace plan, or there is only the singing "war must go on"?

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    Two things: irony, that moderators promote free propaganda, second, that this is a one-sided propaganda. Of the "right" side, obviously.
    – dEmigOd
    Commented Jan 15 at 6:20
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    I'm sure there is a multitude of peace plans, but this question could be streamlined a lot before. It would be a better question if it removed not relevant content. Commented Jan 15 at 8:00
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    You do know that Musk isn't an expert on the topic or a politician or military leader, and his opinions have no more validity than any of the 100 million or so other Twitter users? Not sure why asking a question about his ideas is on-topic.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 15 at 10:25
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    @Graham You're not a moderator in the SE sense of the term.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 15 at 15:01
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    What's the exit strategy for the West in Ukraine? would make for a lot less pushy, if uncomfortable question title. Trim out the commentary as well - "what are Western plans and options on getting out?". Minus their dastardly reasons on getting in to persecute poor Russia. Maybe you need to learn how to write questions that are less open to closure? I don't mind you citing Musk - he's a prominent and smart person, though not always near as clever as he thinks outside his areas of competence, esp not re. human relations. Citing him is no worse than citing Putin apologists. Or Russians. Commented Jan 15 at 17:08

3 Answers 3


There is no need for EU an USA to have any exactly "exit strategy" here. These countries provide help to Ukraine as long as they are willing and able, and in numbers they are capable of. If unwilling or unable, they will provide less, or maybe not at all. This will not end the war immediately. While total amount of help now likely to be less, countries like Germany, UK and recently France are not withdrawing the support and thinking about bilateral agreements.

While sums dedicated for the military support may look immense, significant part of them remains in the country providing the help, funding they own military industry. Hence this is not something extremely unaffordable or unsustainable.

It is up to Ukraine to decide, if they want to continue the war or to end it, and if to end, then under which conditions.

Russia currently does not offer any peace conditions notably better than they would get after complete and unconditional surrender. They kindly would allow V.Zelenskyy to stay but this has no value on its own, the present government is unlikely to retain enough popularity to remain. Part of Russia or a satellite of Russia with pro-Russian government, does it make much difference?

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    It is very likely that Ukrainian currency will derail if the outside support is withdrawn. Helping when you are willing and able is a small comfort when there's a bill to pay.
    – alamar
    Commented Jan 15 at 9:32
  • Yes, they are in a very difficult situation now, this is not a secret. There may be still various hopes for them however.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Jan 15 at 10:54
  • @Stančikas But im thinking, that it is definitely fine, if you are throwing fuel into the NPP reactor, and got lots of "free" energy. But it is definitely good to know how to stop the nuclear fusion process, if any goes wrong, even more so if you have notation on the foreign language on the reactor corpus "made in Russia"... Commented Jan 15 at 11:01
  • If Russia would attack, NATO will likely attempt to defend themselves. Unlikely to surrender I think.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:11
  • @Stančikas you are saying something like: if the reactor will become to exploding, we will stop it by the preventing nuclear strike to it, or we will not let itself explode, we will bombing it before it exploded. i understand that it is a main plan, but is it only the plan, does this all looks like decent strategy or poor politics? Commented Jan 15 at 12:37

Rhetoric is just that, rhetoric. We can sort of safely ignore any hard lines drawn by Putin or Zelensky (and definitely safely ignore anything said by Musk, except perhaps tips on a good ketamine dealer)

The West, as a block, doesn't need an exit strategy - currently, for the relatively cheap price of a bunch of equipment, and with no boots on the ground, they're showing that Russia is incapable of fighting a serious ground war, and certainly poses no real threat to wider Europe.

But, Russia and Ukraine eventually have to extricate themselves. It is hard to know what that looks like. The most likely is a negotiated settlement, probably with western countries pushing Ukraine into peace talks that they'd previously ruled out. Some territory is lost by Ukraine, people are allowed to move, similar to the winter war in Finland, there's probably some articles drawn up about Ukraine not joining NATO. This is also probably why Ukraine has been pushing so hard to get territory back - the eventual borders will almost certainly be whatever territory each side controls.

The other option is a collapse by one or other sides - it is possible, but unlikely that the Ukrainian army falls apart - they're fighting for their land, there's a lot at stake, and they've held so far.

But, Russia has, essentially, put a lot of unwilling conscripts into active service. It's the kind of army that looks strong, and then cracks appear very rapidly.

You could also argue that this is a great chance for the West to push some regime change in Russia, simply by continuing to support Ukraine. While opposing Putin seems to get you poisoned, irradiated, imprisoned, defenestrated or killed in a plane crash, the longer this war continues, and the less that is achieved by it, the less stable Putin becomes. Strongman leaders have to be seen to be strong, and the lack of progress in this war for Russia has already seen one coup attempt.

For context, the USA's military budget is 857 billion - yes, 64 billion is not a rounding error, by any means, but it's a relatively small amount to frustrate and potentially remove a rival from the board. A destabilised or defeated Russia might even provide some cost savings - a lot of US bases across Europe, including nuclear weapons, which could theoretically be scaled back.

  • they're showing that Russia is incapable of fighting a serious ground war, and certainly poses no real threat to wider Europe - Then why is NATO still demanding that EU countries up their defence budget, and why is NATO conducting its largest military exercise this year? (It's like you guys don't know which propaganda to believe about Russia - that it is evil and weak or evil and strong?).
    – sfxedit
    Commented Jan 20 at 5:03
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    @sfxedit - I'm not really sure what you mean here - if you've got a neighbor who anexxed a good chunk of territory, it makes sense to make sure they can't do it to you.
    – lupe
    Commented Jan 21 at 6:09
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    But, also, yeah, Russia is surprisingly weak - for Ukraine, if we were betting at the start of the war, we would have assumed hours or days before Kiev fell, maybe a couple of weeks at best. A year or so later, and there's a protracted stalemate. But it's still show enough aggression to be concerning to neighboring countries
    – lupe
    Commented Jan 21 at 6:33

The claim that Ukraine has burned all the bridges is somewhat exaggerated, although its negotiating position would be still unacceptable to Russia. Politico reports:

Ahead of the forum, on Sunday, Ukrainian officials met with counterparts from several partner countries to once again promote Ukraine’s own 10-point vision for peace. Kyiv has been sharing the plan with audiences for many months; Moscow has dismissed it.


As evidenced by their 10-point proposal, Ukrainians aren’t completely discounting that of peace negotiations. But their demands — especially the restoration of Ukraine’s full territory — are likely too maximalist for Russia. The Kremlin appears unwilling to give up the land it has gained in Ukraine since its original takeover of Crimea and parts of the country’s east in 2014.

The 10-point plan post-dates the law mentioned in the OP. Its details can be found in Wikipedia: Peace negotiations in the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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    Russian approach to negotiation with Ukraine is that Russia is always ready to talk and will offer outs which get progressively worse with time. So the 2014 offer was better than 2021 offer which was worse than 2022 offer which is still worse than 2024 offer, but that one is still on the table.
    – alamar
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:04
  • @alamar I merely point out that negotiations are possible. The west can always twist the arms to Ukraine to force them accepting some kind of ceasefire, without formally renouncing any part of Ukraine. Also, Zelensky does not have to negotiate with Putin face-to-face - they can reach an agreement through intermediaries. Israel and Arabs do it all the time, even though the latter formally do not even believe in Israel's existence.
    – Morisco
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:11
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    Last time Russia has sent an Ukrainian-born "liberal tower of Kremlin" representative to the negotiations, an ex-Minister of Culture, so it is obvious that the reason there are no active negotiations is that Ukrainian side does not want to hold them in a good faith. It's not because everybody in Russia will have hard time appearing before Zelensky.
    – alamar
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:21
  • @alamar the law mentioned in the OP specifically prohibits negotiations with Russia while Putin is the president.
    – Morisco
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:32
  • Your answer is a bit confusing - You say Ukraine hasn't burned bridges because they are still discussing a peace plan. But who are they discussing it with? Not Russia, ofcourse. What's the use of discussing it with your allies when they publicly claim they are not part of the conflict and won't talk talk to Russia (which is one of Russia's conditions for talks - that no diplomatic solution is viable without talks with NATO leaders too). Ukraine can make up 100's of "peace plans" alone or with its allies - but how do you implement it without actually negotiating with the other major party?
    – sfxedit
    Commented Jan 16 at 11:35

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