Ukraine crisis, resilience and dialogue to slow down Moscow

Despite the threats, the conflict is not inevitable and the consequences are clear to all – comments

The world is witnessing with growing anguish and disbelief the declarations and statements about the impending Russian aggression in Ukraine. Of course, the deployment of 150,000 Moscow troops on the Ukrainian border could raise more than just a reasonable alarm. Moreover, the unilateral annexation of Crimea and Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine – as well as separatists in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Ossetia and Moldova Transnistria – confirm the desire to control the former Soviet territory. And support for Belarus’s Lukashenko regime goes in the same direction. And this Russian demand for subjecting Eastern European countries to “limited sovereignty” cannot be properly accepted.

We are no longer in the Cold War between the opposition political-ideological field. Nor are we at a time of bipolar balance that has recognized the United States and the Soviet Union as the arbiters of the world’s destiny. We live in a multifaceted world where Ukraine – like Georgia, Moldova and every other nation – has the right to exercise its sovereignty and respect its territorial integrity, as well as to choose its international alliances and affiliations freely. After all, war is not inevitable and the catastrophic consequences of armed conflict in central Europe are clear to all. And the first people to realize this are the Ukrainians who are already paying the price for the pre-war climate: investments have slowly stopped crippling the country’s economy and the number of people who fear the worst, repairs are increasing week by week. Abroad, it is significant that Ukrainian President Zelensky, who certainly does not shy away from criticizing Russia, has called for restraint in tone and attitude in recent days. Moreover, a Russian aggression against Ukraine would lead to a very harsh Western response with strict sanctions that would put pressure on the resilience of the Russian economy. And by contrast, Europe will suffer significantly, not only because Russia is its first energy provider, but also because the Russian market is strategically located for the export and investment of thousands of European companies.

And finally, the West-Russia confrontation will force Moscow to restore a bipolar balance to strengthen its ties with Beijing, from which neither the West nor Russia will benefit. The bitterness of the debate has not slowed down the effort for dialogue and the search for a political solution that proves that there is awareness of the issue. The third meeting in three months between Biden and Putin took place in the last few hours; Communications between Secretary Blinken and Lavrov continue; And Macron’s move is irresistible, prompting an intense dialogue between Moscow, Kyiv and Washington on behalf of Europe – the current president of the European Council – seeking a solution to the crisis. A political solution that is also a goal of Italy, has been repeatedly repeated by Draghi, de Mayo and Guerini. An immediate basic step is to cool the temperature and conduct a military de-escalation, which can only begin with a task in Moscow. If Russia really – as Putin and Lavrov have repeatedly declared – has no intention of invading Ukraine, it does an unequivocal job: reducing the number of Russian troops currently stationed on the Ukrainian border and contributing to the definition of a political solution that does not only guarantee sovereignty. Ukraine’s independence, however, could trigger the creation of a new “European Security Agreement” that would guarantee stability and security to all countries on the continent, including Russia. This is how the tragedy of war can be avoided.

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