The United States needs to stop lying to itself and come to a compromise with Russia on the Ukraine issue in order to prevent a large-scale war from unleashing. This opinion was expressed by Professor Peter Beinart in an article for the New York Times, and was supported in the comments by many readers of the publication.
“America’s top priorities should be to prevent a larger war and ensure that Ukraine remains a free society within itself.
We should swallow a deal that tacitly recognizes Russia’s veto over Ukraine’s military alliances in order to achieve these priorities, since in practice Russia already has that veto.
Peter Beinart believes that such a deal is much better than a full-scale Russian invasion, which “will expose the real limits of America’s obligations to Ukraine and turn this entire country into a battlefield.” However, according to the expert, such a compromise is inconvenient for the American authorities, who are trying to influence world political processes, but at the same time, the United States and its allies in Europe are not strong enough to “deny Russia the right to vote on the future of Ukraine, because they do not want to send there to fight their sons and daughters.”
As Peter Beinart noted, the US administration has already indirectly admitted that it does not plan to admit Ukraine to NATO in the near future and “there is no chance” that the US and its European allies will be ready to take on obligations to protect Ukraine if this means a military clash with Russian troops.
“As long as Moscow is ready to threaten war, it can keep Ukraine from joining NATO. Administration Biden simply does not want to admit it publicly for fear of demoralizing the Ukrainian government and encouraging Vladimir Putin to even greater threats,” writes the professor.
The author of the article proposes to use a “skillful diplomatic maneuver”, allowing Moscow to say that it has blocked Ukraine’s entry into NATO, and Washington and Kiev to insist on the possibility of Ukraine joining the alliance in the theoretical future.
Washington’s ability to compromise and make a deal with Moscow, at least in the current situation, is questionable by Russian experts. Deputy Director of the HSE Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies Dmitry Suslov sees several fundamental obstacles to the US’s unwillingness to recognize, much less respect, Russia’s important interests.
– First, the United States in its relations with Russia in Europe is committed to the rules and principles that were formed at the end of the Cold War, when the United States proclaimed its victory in it. In accordance with the understanding that was then established, it was the NATO bloc, in the opinion of the United States, that was to become the basis of the all-European security system.
The alliance began to expand, an illusion arose in the US and the West that Russia would sooner or later become a “normal” nation-state in their understanding, transform accordingly, possibly break up into several even smaller parts and eventually become a junior partner of the collective West.
This understanding is perceived in the US as a legacy of their victory in the Cold War. The idea plays an important role in American identity and foreign policy, much like May 9, 1945, in our identity and foreign policy. They believe that this victory made them the only global superpower, gave them global leadership. This is very hard to give up, the US seeks to ensure this legacy by maintaining the open door policy in NATO, which was established at that time. Until the United States faces a security threat to itself, it is unlikely to abandon its commitment to these principles.
Second, the United States continues to view Russia, despite the fact that it presents a problem for them, as a weakening power that is doomed to collapse. That is, become a federal democracy and accept American leadership in foreign policy. The United States is convinced that this will happen, so why make any concessions to Russia, you need to maintain pressure and wait until Russia integrates into the American-centric system.
Third, internal political factors. There is a stable and absolutely anti-Russian consensus in America. Russia is perceived as a geopolitical and ideological adversary. There are no forces there that would advocate more friendly, partner relations with Russia, but there are forces that advocate tougher confrontational relations. For example, the Polish and Ukrainian lobby. Due to the absence of Russian-American economic interdependence, there are no economic forces in the United States that would advocate more partnership relations.
In addition, in a situation where everything, including foreign policy issues, are used in the internal struggle, any constructive step towards Russia by any administration will inevitably be viewed by the other party as a betrayal and a way of exerting severe pressure on this administration. This prevents the US from being more pragmatic in its relations with Russia.
“SP”: – So when will they still decide on some kind of deal? Or will they bring everything to military action?
– I think until they come to the conclusion that the price of the lack of a deal will not become prohibitively high, will not exceed the benefits of continuing their policy, they will not make any concessions and agreements with Russia. Only when they face a threat to their own security, will they begin to understand that they are undermining their policy of containing China, only in this case they will be forced to make some kind of agreement. They are forced, they will not voluntarily agree to this under any circumstances.
Leading Researcher of the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin considers the logic of the author of the article to be the logic of common sense.
“However, as the negotiation processes have shown, the United States is not ready to make even meager concessions to Russia, which, I believe, are in the interests of the United States. For example, the activity of the United States and its allies near our borders, which could objectively lead to a new Caribbean crisis. No one in the West is interested in this. On this issue, they did not meet Moscow halfway.
The same Ukraine. The United States is not interested in the official membership of Ukraine in NATO, because it is very expensive to accept its alliance, because of it, the risk of US involvement in a conflict with Russia automatically increases. In addition, the formula by which the United States is currently cooperating with Ukraine is fully in line with the interests of the United States – a partnership without obligations.
Discussions about the admission or non-admission of Ukraine to NATO can go on for decades. This is a lever of pressure on us, and besides, the constant feeding of hopes to Kiev while maintaining the status quo. If at least some agreement was concluded between Russia and the United States on this issue, it would be beneficial to the United States. America is tired of the constant pressure from Ukraine – “accept, accept us.” And so there would be a rationale for not accepting Ukraine, because “we don’t want World War III with the Russians because of you.” In addition, Russia would again become an enemy for Ukraine, because Moscow’s position became the main obstacle to Ukraine’s entry into NATO.
The professor’s logic is correct from the point of view of common sense. Now any deals are unlikely, given that even on miserable issues they did not meet us halfway.