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Ukraine-Russia - Do relevant world organizations provide an effective negotiation-center for this one, or have a suitable focus on doing so ?

Maybe the core features of a negotiation-center, would be -

  • That the leaders of these two nations would have no presence in such a center, neither in person nor online, that a main function of a center would be to avoid them as part of negotiation as much as possible, obviously only requiring their final approvals for negotiation details ( and marked-maps ), via their proxies, staff, so if a final-agreement was reached that the two leaders would not attend a joint peace signing ceremony.

  • The main component of the negotiations could be that disputed territory ( hopefully the disputed territory on day-1 of the war ) would be marked as zones 'for-now' not belonging to either country, that after a final agreement by both sides, the zones, territories, marked as 'for-now' not belonging to either country, could at some stage be utilized by both sides as joint projects to not lose money on wasted land ( blocked off, of limits land ), obviously, I assume this particular idea would all have to be administered, controlled, overseen, by the relevant world organizations etc.

  • And probably not necessary, that the two negotiation-teams, would each have two different internet-providers to duplicate their activity on each of their own two internet links to reduce suspicions of altered internet activity by others.

  • Also, possibly, that if a final-agreement was reached that maybe the relevant fine details and marked-maps would be delivered to their own nations on usb-flash-drives for final agreement, that the final-agreement-marked-maps would have been jointly marked by both teams in the negotiation-center, so only one final-agreement-marked-map would exist, firstly conveyed by internet and lastly maybe by usb-flash-drives to their own nations.

  • Surely most people would be aware that in stressful meetings, appointments, discussions, the worst configuration is for individuals to be completely facing each other completely directly, this often results in completely no progress, the only options would be seating people side by side, etc, although in such a negotiation center there could possibly be no politicians at all.

  • That the two negotiation teams be made not of politicians etc, instead, made of lower class people, the people affected etc, although maybe ones with relevant skills.

    A theoretical peace-agreement would of course not affect the original causes of the war, are all two nation wars caused by the two nations, or, are some two nation wars caused by other countries / regions.

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    Vaguely reminiscent of politics.stackexchange.com/questions/86053/… Please note that this site is not for proposing idiosyncratic peace plans or even just (populist) frameworks for negotiating those. Commented Mar 2 at 4:21
  • This question would benefit from actually cutting a cut of context. It's probably better to simply ask for negotiations instead of including considerations about them. That may be part of another question. Commented Mar 2 at 12:19
  • @alamar We don't try to peer into the minds of others on this site. There is no saying why Putin would break a deal unless Putin provides the explanation. However, Putin and Russia have established a track record of breaking deals. Putin's explanations for breaking the Budapest Memorandum has been nothing but rambling lectures loosely based on Russian history. He has yet to provide a remotely legitimate casus belli for his war of aggression so far. Essentially, Putin has firmly established by action that there is no reason to believe any offer he gives Ukraine is made in good faith.
    – David S
    Commented Mar 6 at 17:08

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There are two relevant concepts here in diplomatic practice:

  • The term shuttle diplomacy describes the concept where negotiators from a third party (not necessary neutral but less involved) carry messages so that the other parties do not get into a shouting match with each other, or even have to meet.
  • The term sherpa describes officials who prepare and conduct negotiations for their principals before the principals fly in to sign the agreement.

But your proposal is missing the point. Ukraine is recognized by almost all other nations as a sovereign nation, and even Russia used to recognize the borders of Ukraine. Now Russia wants to un-do the dissolution of the Soviet Union (and the Czarist colonial empire). They grabbed part of Ukraine in 2014 and more in 2022. Russia once got a sort-of-ceasefire and used it to prepare further attacks.

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  • Yes but still somebody might offer themselves as a negotiation platform, if only for PR reasons. China maybe. They once wrote a vague peace plan, I think. Commented Mar 2 at 9:47
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    @NoDataDumpNoContribution, making that offer when it is not likely to be accepted is pointless, unless the point is to make a point. Russia insists that the starting point of negotiations is the acceptance of their illegal annexations and they'd talk about what else they will get, Ukraine insists that negotiations are about getting their land and people back.
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 2 at 10:51
  • But at some point the cost of prolonging the war even further will exceed the expected win and people in Ukraine or Russia will ask themselves why they have to die for that. In Russia they probably don't have so much of a choice even though they surely are responsible in some way, Putin will only negotiate if the war turns badly for him. In Ukraine they have a choice, how much do they want to sacrifice for their motherland. Probably at some point enough is enough. And they probably thought that they would be supported by the West with more equipment. At some point there will be negotiations. Commented Mar 2 at 12:16
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    @NoDataDumpContribution - "In Ukraine they have a choice" - you sure about that? Political opposition parties are banned. Leaving the country is banned for men. Conscription teams haul men away off the street into unmarked vans in broad daylight. There is a law on the books forbidding the president from giving up territory in a negotiation. They're "locked in" on seeing it thru to whatever the end may be.
    – Pete W
    Commented Mar 2 at 16:45
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    @Dolphin613Motorboat "without formally becoming a traitor." That's not true, I'd say. If you can add something to the constitution you can as well remove it again. It's just a matter of will. Commented Mar 2 at 19:19
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This can be seen as following the pattern of some cold-war conflicts, such as Soviet war in Afghanistan, or US war in Vietnam after the end of the Diem government. So we can use that 40 years of history as a guide.

The similarity is on practical grounds. Ukraine today fully depends on NATO for its war effort. In this situation, the dependent party has limited scope for action outside of what their senior partners approve.

During the cold war, negotiations happened even when the basic subject of the conflict was irreconcilable. There was a higher priority need to limit excessive escalation, as that was seen as an outcome with insufficient benefit even in case of a victory.

Negotiations took place both bilaterally between the superpowers, and bilaterally between the combatants. But it was understood that the former set of discussions made the real decisions.

Sometimes a neutral venue would be used for discussion. But there was no organization playing the part of a mediator. No organization or playing the role of arbitrator in a commercial dispute. That is because no party existed capable of enforcing its own rules, at that highest level. The UN was not trusted with such a power by the main powers at the time of its formation. Hence the veto power in the UNSC.

On the other hand, if a mutual desire for a settlement or a long-term pause in the conflict obtains*, then no third party is necessary. Unlike hot-headed individuals found in everyday life (as the question refers to in motivating the need for arbitration), after many decades of facing these situations again and again, diplomats learned how to conduct negotiations bilaterally. It's possible the current conflict will function as something of a learning exercise, in case that ability has become a little rusty.

[* note - at this point in time, a mutual desire it plainly not the case]

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    Actually, Ukraine is dependent on NATO (and the EU) for continuing the way. So Ukraine has the choice to fight or not to fight as long as NATO supports them.
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 2 at 19:33
  • @o.m. - A choice to fight is indeed contingent on support. A choice to not fight is nominally available. But... that scenario a story in itself. TLDR - when the cashflow stops, and the state of emergency stops, a whole another set of problems arise for the dependent state, and especially for key leaders. And more especially if they're making money on the side, which is typical in chaotic situations like this. So if the senior party prefers more fighting, it can be very hard to say no.
    – Pete W
    Commented Mar 2 at 19:42
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    Like with Zelensky, he built his identity since maybe his 3rd or 4th month in office around restoring the land lost in 2014-2015. His key political partners are hard nationalists, including revanchists who thought USSR beating Germany was a raw deal for themselves. At the same time it's now widely known he refused a peace deal early on in Istanbul, which would have spared everyone the bulk of the physical and human damage. And the mobilization laws and border controls are implemented with epic corruption. He and his team would have to flee if they stopped now.
    – Pete W
    Commented Mar 2 at 19:55
  • @bharring no, it's the right way around. The USA can force Ukraine to stop fighting, for Ukraine is only still able to fight because of weapons the USA gives it. Commented Mar 6 at 15:45

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