‘Dangerous Diplomacy’: How placating Putin could doom Ukraine’s democracy


Ironically, the diplomatic solution being advanced by Europeans will reward Russian aggression and pose a long-term danger to Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy, but still fail to avert war, experts suggest.

The agreement that European leaders are pushing is flawed for a significant and fundamental reason, say analysts Oxana Shevel and Maria Popova: It accepts Putin’s preferred reading of the ambiguous Minsk agreements, giving Russia de facto control of Ukrainian policies, they write for The Journal of Democracy:

Moscow has long sought a constitutionally guaranteed “special status” for its proxies in Donbas. This would allow Russia to effectively veto any domestic and foreign policy decisions made in Kyiv. Understandably, this is unacceptable to Ukraine. The United States and its European allies have consistently said they would not agree to bar Ukraine from NATO membership forever. But if the West now pushes Ukraine to accept Russia’s demands on Minsk, Ukraine’s chances of ever joining NATO will disappear, as Putin will have the power to block the move from within. RTWT

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