Diplomacy reaches dead-end in Ukraine war - GulfToday

Diplomacy reaches dead-end in Ukraine war

Emmanuel-Macron_750

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting. File photo

After French President Emmanuel Macron had a 75-minute telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the French presidency official has said, “We did not detect a willingness on Putin’s part to end the war.” That is a rare admission on the part of France that it has not been able to persuade Russia to end the war in Ukraine.

France had always felt that it is a separate and special connect with Russia, and this was so from the early Cold War years when President De Gaulle had struck an independent line towards Russia, which was then the Soviet Union, and developed a rapport with Soviet leaders. France did not want to be seen as a follower of the United States and the United Kingdom in dealing with the Cold War situation. And the policy continued with President Macron when he visited Moscow to talk to President Putin to end the war. And three weeks into the war, France has revealed the bare fact that Putin was not paying heed to the call of the Western leaders to end hostilities. Putin seems to feel that the only way he can send a clear message to the West about Nato is to force the terms of peace on a defeated Ukraine.


READ MORE

Is Europe ready to handle Ukraine refugee crisis?

Firming US democracy critical to deter future aggression


As the fighting rages on the outskirts of Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seems to be moving between a pragmatic approach and heroic resistance. Zelensky has let it be known that Ukraine is no more intent on joining the Nato. But it seemed more of an angry response from Zelensky that Nato had refused to move into the war and defend Ukraine. But Nato leaders had made it clear that the attack on Ukraine is not an attack on Nato. Zelensky for the past two weeks had been pleading for Nato intervention and that of the United States, but to no avail it seems.

A US State Department spokesperson, responding to Zelensky’s plea for help, said, “If there are diplomatic steps that we can take that the Ukrainian government believes would be helpful, we’re prepared to take them.” Not that this is a far cry from Zelensky’s request to Nato to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine had indeed fallen on deaf ears. Nato members have taken a clear stand that they would not be dragged into the war. Meanwhile, Russia has warned that shipments carrying arms to Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russia. It could be the only way that the Nato countries could be pulled into the war. But as of now, Nato has left Ukraine to fight its own battle though the provocation to Russia was that of Ukraine wanting to join Nato.

Meanwhile Russia has warned Sweden and Finland not to join Nato. It looks like that emboldened by the unwilling ness to Nato to enter the war in Ukraine, Putin is tempted to extend his threats to other non-Nato countries in Russia’s vicinity.

Putin then appears to be pushing the limits of the Russian buffer zone and that could only make things worse. The conflict between Russia and the West might widen into a military confrontation somewhere along the faultline between Europe and Russia. Is Putin playing a calculated game, or is he just playing the infamous Russian roulette? More than ever Putin has become an enigma and the Western leaders are not able to understand even as some of them like Macron and Gremach Chancellor Olaf Scholz have met Putin and come away disappointed. The war in Ukraine is becoming dangerous because Putin and Zelensky have not made their stances clear. Is Zelensky keen on a compromise? Is Putin ready for peace?

 

Related articles

Other Articles