The Ukraine War: Elements Towards a Settlement

By Christian ILCUS

The EU is pursuing three geopolitical aims in Ukraine: (1) Prevent Russia and China from aligning themselves in a strategic alliance (2) Securitization of NATO and EU enlargement (3) Prevent the establishment of a Eurasian empire. These goals may well be realized without Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, but not without Kiev assuming control over its territory and regaining full independence.

This has to be compared to that a power vacuum between Germany and Russia have more often than not led to war, and that NATO and EU enlargement, historically speaking, present themselves as the lesser evil. On other hand, Russia has craved a buffer zone vis-à-vis Europe, whose growth in relative power inspire a holy fear in Russian’s authoritarian leaders. In terms of personality, Putin is enneagram five, like Hitler. They grow spiritually by letting in omni-science. Chief of Staff General Gerasimov, however, has made a film The Dancing Bear, suggestive of a nostalgia for Red Man and an urge to inflict wounds on Ukraine, the Russian people, Europe belonging to a bygone era.

A balance of interests and a sense of community is needed for a settlement, which will be determined by the situation on the ground. And so an EU-Russia summit could be contemplated in due time. The success criteria of EU-Russia summits: (1) Launching of process to renew EU-Russia contractual basis or negotiations on conceptual infrastructure thereon (2) fix Ukraine (3) Launching of negotiations on a Free Trade Area between EU and the Eurasian Economic Union.

The Russian interest: (1) peaceful relations between Ukraine and Russia in Eurasia (2) Sanctions lifted (3) EU-Russia Strategic Partnership of equals inaugurated (4) Foundations for a regional power transition. The European interest: (1) securitization of EU and NATO enlargement (2) Strategic Partnership with Russia restored could spur an overall multi-bilateral policy review for EU’s strategic partnerships. (3) Creative tension and mutual growth between EU-Russia secured in an enlarging EU (4) Test of European leadership passed in Europe and adjacent area could lessen military expenses if trust evolve and dialogue is carefully maintained.

When it comes to the conditions for peace I recommend approaching Russia underlining the necessity of a global approach encompassing (1) free elections in Belarus, (2) the replacement of Russian troops in Transnistria with a EU Stabilization Force (3) UN troops deployed to Southern Ossetia and Abkhazia (4) the departure of Russian troops from Kherson, Lukhansk, Donbas (5) the sale or lease of Crimea to Russia at the agreed price tag of €1trillion (6) an EU initiative on Central Asia in cooperation with India, China and Russia at which point EU shall engage Afghanistan in return for UN-China project portfolio on Xinjiang (7) resumption of peace talks between Japan and Russia (8) Resolution in Burma either through a US-EU military strike and/or a genuinely inclusive political process involving all stakeholders and sponsored by US, EU and China (9) progress in Syria (10) Bosnia. The wager would lead to a lifting of sanctions, a new contractual basis between EU and Russia preferably a Strategic Partnership Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreement, the initialing of an EU-Eurasian Free Trade Agreement, the designation of Ukraine as a major non-Nato Ally or anyother intermediate solution.

Once Ukraine is secure and restored in its territorial integrity through war or diplomacy, the EU and the international community through parliamentary control and consultations should decide on an International Tribunal for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the wars of conquest in Ukraine in 2014 and 2022-23 war could be established.

A Preliminary list of perpetrators:

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia
Sergey Shoigu, Defense Minister of Russia
Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff.
Vyacheslav Surkov, Security Council Secretary
Nikolai Patrushev, responsible for force and punitive operations in Ukraine
Dimitry Rogozin, nationalist agitator
Alexander Prokhanov, Russian television CEO
Konstantin Ernst, freedom supressor
Sergei Ivanov, FSB General.
Viktor Ivanov, FSB General
Igor Sechin, Kremlin insider and oligarch
Alexander Voloshin, creator of Putin’s vertical of power
Vladidmir Pozner, tv commentator
Vladimir Konstantinov, President of State Council – Crimea.
Sergei Aksionov, Chief of Government, Crimea.
Ramza Kadyrov, Chechen Colonel.

Various lesser field commanders and officers and soldiers involved in massacres on Ukrainean territory could be indicted as well.

In the alternative, these figures could enter into a Death list to be assassinated by Western and UA intelligence services. They might also retire from office as part of a peace and reconciliation process between EU and Russia. This may be naïve, and the damage done may be beyond repair for now. In short, if Russia confess its sins and opt for partnership, EU should engage Russia in diplomacy, in a global conversation.