Russo-Ukrainian War and the Question of Peace

More Weapons, More Military aid, and More battleships can never bring peace. Peace can only be achieved at the table, not on the battlefield. Bombs are raining on Ukraine, Russia intensified the attacks, and President Zelensky is not satisfied with American military aid and asked Europe to step up. President Vladimir Putin launched a furious attack on Ukraine on 24th February 2022, to halt the advancement of NATO towards the Russian sphere of influence. The Western liberal-democratic world stood against Russia and currently, the situation is that both the democratic and the authoritarian world have sharply divided on the issue. The strategic war became the war of two ideologies; liberalism and authoritarianism. President Putin has defeated his rivals in the 2024 elections and again succeeded in holding the premier office, and now he is in a clearer and strong position to continue his policies of Russian resurgence. The Western world is vehemently supporting Ukraine and their support is making the situation worse and more complex. They consider Russia a tyrant state because of its hostile behavior in the region and also a spoiler of the existing (rules-based order) world order. Both conflicting parties have lost billions of dollars and the result is yet to be decided. The War is still going on. This war was inevitable because of three major reasons; firstly, the post-Cold War world order has brutally failed to address the political and economic problems of the modern world. Secondly, the World’s established democracies are facing severe ideological and identity crises for instance, Turkiye under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, India is under a severe wave of illiberalism and populism, and Americans are struggling with the strong illiberal and popular voices; White Supremacists. Thirdly, America needs stronger enemies to maintain and prevail American-led liberal world order. As John Mearsheimer stated, “It was America who actually provoked Russia to invade Ukraine.”

Ukrainians are resilient in nature and there is no doubt that they would survive this war but at what cost? the cost would be deteriorated socio-economic and political conditions at the domestic level and their sovereignty would be compromised entirely. On the other hand, Moscow would never step back until it achieved what it is striving for; non-NATO allies in the Russian near abroad. Russia is a prisoner of its geography and its skepticism towards Europe is indispensable because of bitter historical experiences. In modern world history, Russia was invaded twice by European States that’s why Russia’s fear and uncertainty towards Europe is not baseless. The European States, for instance, Belgium which recently agreed to give 30 F-16 Jets to Ukraine, France which is sending military instructors, and Spain; which are oiling and airing the fire of this animosity by extending their unconditional support to Ukraine; basically, are playing with their own peace, stability, and progress. European states have failed to survive ongoing food crises which are aggravating day by day, for instance, Ukraine’s grain production has decreased 29% and it is expected more decline this year. This war is disastrous not only for Russia and Ukraine but also for the whole of Europe. Apart from the European hemisphere, the war has its global repercussions, Ukraine, before 2021, was considered the largest exporter of wheat to most of the African and Asian states but the war ruined this supply chain.

At this critical juncture, where President Zelensky is again on the road to grab more military assistance to protect its country from Russian wrath there is a dire need for a grand peace dialogue. Brussels should deny military support to Ukraine and offer talks to get rid of the menace of war. Otherwise, Europe should be ready to pay the heavy price of this war. It is an onus on the European Community to discourage military support and to promote dialogue. If the war continues, Ukraine with 44 million people would become a long-term liability for Europe. European states must understand the fears of Russia regarding its security, why West is eager to incorporate Ukraine into NATO? The answer to this question may be that it is a matter of free choice of a sovereign nation. But how Russia can afford its arch-ideological rivals, accompanying military machinery, at its gates?  Russia can afford liberal democracy in Ukraine but can never accept NATO in Ukraine or Ukraine in NATO. In the entire scenario, America is just taking advantage of the turmoil milieu of the region and suppressing Russian influence in Eastern Europe.

The European States, for instance, Germany, Britain, and the European Union can play a significant role in this regard to draw some diplomatic channels and avenues to make peace between the conflicting parties. If Europe is thinking that Russia would withdraw without having clear assurance that Ukraine would not join NATO, then it is an ill-visioned dream of a fool provided the realities of global politics. President Vladimir Putin, after this election, became more powerful and is expanding the horizon of war to bring the European States to the table. Contemporarily, both Ukraine and Russia want to negotiate peace terms, based on a quid-pro-quo approach, but Western states are not ready to maintain détente between them because they are extraordinarily aggressive towards Russia just because of their ideological rivalry.

War should be stopped and the international community should pave the way for talks. The whole world is suffering from food shortages due to this war but some warmongers are advancing their adventures by supplying more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. The solution to this conflict only lies in the seriousness of European and American leadership. America is just extending and protecting its extra-regional vital interests in this war but at the expense of 44 million people of Ukraine, global food insecurity, and the peace of Europe. Therefore, the coming Swiss Peace Summit (fifth international meeting), planned to be held in June 2024, can become a ray of hope in this regard, and world leaders should take some concrete measures to solve the issue.


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