Ukraine Needs Clear Communication, Not Weapons, From the U.S.

There are approximately 100,000 Russian troops stationed at Ukraine’s Eastern Border. Reports suggest that Moscow is also there Planning might sound appealingAn incursion As soon as the next monthOne can easily believe that war is imminent in Eastern Europe if they are not careful. Officials in the United States are threatening a Russian military operation. Extremely serious.

Last week, Sergey Lavrov and Antony Blinken, Secretary of State USA, held a meeting Did littleto ease bilateral tensions regarding Ukraine. Both did not. Two-hour video conferenceThe meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden on Tuesday was more of an open forum than a discussion about conflict resolution. The U.S.-Russian positions regarding Ukraine seem to be almost incompatible at the moment, even though both sides lip service and continue to support a fragile diplomatic process.  Putin insists on assurances that Ukraine won’t be swallowed by the West orbit.Legal guaranteesHe said “to this effect” during his December 7 video conference with Joe Biden. Washington is meanwhile requesting Russia to withdraw from Ukrainian territory and to end its support for separatists within the Donbas. Washington also demands Kyiv regain complete control of the Ukrainian border.

Washington and Washington more generally tend to become tougher on Moscow after the latest Russian act of brinkmanship, but this is not the best way to defend Ukraine. ArgumentThe logic is this: If the West refuses to give Putin the riot acts or to put in place stronger sanctions against Russia to prevent another invasion, it is catering to Putin’s worst instincts. Biden’s administration seems to follow the same logic. The White House has been discussing the possibility of sending Other lethal military gearTo the Ukrainian Army, which would rise on top $22.5 BillionU.S. Security Assistance already given to Kyiv in 2014As President Biden looked into President Putin’s eyes, I will tell him, just as President Biden told President Putin today, “Things we didn’t do in 2014, we are ready to do now,” Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser According to reportersDirectly after Biden’s phone call with Putin, at the White House. These are just a few of the options available. Relying on Germany for cancellationThe Nord Stream II natural-gas pipeline is available in case Russian troops begin to pour across the border. 

These assumptions are not consistent with Moscow’s behaviour over the last seven years. U.S. arms shipments to Kyiv to Russia have not done anything whatsoever to force Russian forces from Ukraine. They also did nothing to alter the Russian political leadership’s calculations as they relate to the conflict. Indeed, in most cases, the Russians have simply responded to U.S. weapons shipments with weapons shipments of its own—something experts monitoring the war have warned about For many years. Russian-made arms Continue to flow towards the battlefieldThere is little to no sign that this trend will end in Eastern Ukraine anytime soon. This is a reason not to expect more of the exact same result.

The United States must take a different approach to Ukraine if it truly cares. That means sitting Ukrainian officials down—as Biden should do during his upcoming Thursday call with Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky—and giving them some tough love about what the U.S. is and isn’t willing to do. These are three key messages.

In the first place, U.S. combat force will never be sent to Ukraine as a deterrent against a Russian conventional invasion. Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the Ukrainian President If you wish otherwiseUkraine is not a NATO country and does not enjoy the protection of NATO (and the U.S.). It is highly unlikely that Kyiv would be allowed this status. In reality, Ukraine should be admitted to NATO. It shouldn’t be even consideredIt would cause immediate conflict between NATO and the U.S. troops, which could ruin any opportunities for West to stabilise its relations with Russia.

Second, U.S. officials need to make Kyiv aware that fighting with Russia and the separatists does not appeal. Russian officials may exaggerate any possibility that the Ukrainian military might launch a new offensive in Donbas. However, Zelenskyy should reconsider putting this idea forward. Although the Ukrainian military has been a strong supporter of democracy, it is not clear if they will be able to impose their rule on Russia. Professionalism is betterAlthough it is battle-tested and more experienced than in 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea Peninsula, Kyiv remains the most vulnerable party in the dispute. The fact that Ukraine may cause substantial damage to the separatists does not matter, since Russia would never allow them to win militarily. Russia would never permit Ukraine to wage a conventional war on Russia. spends ten timesWhat Kyiv does with its military. Ukraine is likely to suffer greater territorial loss if it engages in more fighting.

Finally, and most importantly, the U.S. must tell Kyiv it should redouble its efforts to reach a comprehensive diplomatic deal with Moscow, and the separatists. Zelenskyy is largely ignoring this except for A handful of prisoner swapsat the beginning of his tenure. That is Zelenskyy Recently acknowledgedThe fact that direct negotiations with Russia must be held is a positive first step. It may also indicate the willingness of the Ukrainian government to face the harsh realities it now finds itself in. However, Ukrainian officials must go further than offering negotiations. This means that they have to get down to the details and implement the unpopular measures. Minsk II accords—a diplomatic package that trades a full Russian troop withdrawal and the handover of Ukraine’s eastern border back to Kyiv in exchange for a measure of political autonomy for the Donbas.

None of this will be easy, and a peaceful ending to the war in Eastern Ukraine will take determination, patience, and sincerity from every party with a stake in the outcome—including Russia and its proxies in the Donbas. Moscow’s insistence on a traditional invasion will mean that Ukraine won’t have the diplomatic space to negotiate a settlement with Russia.

The U.S. could do their part and encourage Kyiv’s operation through reality, rather than fantasy. It is not a good idea to give Ukraine false hopes of unconditional U.S. support.