What can the West and Ukraine offer to Russia to end the war

In order for Russian President Vladimir Putin to agree to end the war in Ukraine, he must be offered at least some exit strategy so that Russia, as a nuclear power, would not reach for everything or anything that the whole world fears for – nuclear weapons. Analysts for “Blic” estimate that it could, among other things, be the military neutrality of Ukraine and the recognition of Crimea as Russian territory.


That Russia will not just give up on its not very clear goals in Ukraine is clear after a full two weeks of bloody fighting in Eastern Europe. Despite the most radical Western sanctions in history, the Russian invasion is advancing so much every day that Western analysts have realized that the war in Ukraine will not end without concessions to Moscow.

“You can’t leave a man with a nuclear weapon in a corner”

Thus, the former head of the CIA, General David Petraeus, said that Putin should not be left cornered because he has nuclear weapons and that he must be given a way out.

Foto: Victority / Alamy / Profimedia

As he said, a man who has nuclear weapons should not be cornered.

– I certainly hope he is not able to use it. But we should not rely on hope, but on reality. And what we need to do is take such a threat very seriously, and another to find a way to provide Russia with a way out. “Because you never want a man with a nuclear weapon to be cornered and in a position to feel he has nothing to lose,” said Petraeus, adding that he feared he would do great damage in frustration, “turn off lights and electricity.”


The former head of the CIA reminds that the whole world brought down the economy, financial institutions, the army on Putin.

– We must see how to enable Putin to get out of this, and see what we can talk about with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, how to provide some way through diplomatic negotiations, but that it should not be capitulation – Peteurs noted .

Zelensky: We realized that NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine

What’s more, Zelenski has already decided to “put the ball on the ground” as much as possible.

Volodimir Zelenski

Foto: Ukrainian presidential press office / Tanjug/AP

– As far as NATO is concerned, I have long since cooled down on that issue after we realized that NATO is not ready to accept Ukraine. The Alliance is afraid of contradictory things and confrontation with the Russian Federation – Zelenski said two days ago in an interview for the American television “ABC World News”.

As he said, Ukraine will not beg on its knees for anything, and he added that there is a chance to find a compromise regarding the recognition of Crimea and the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

– I think we can talk about issues concerning the temporarily occupied territories and unrecognized republics, which no one has recognized except Russia, these pseudo-republics. We can find a compromise on the further fate of these territories. We can talk about it and find a compromise on how people will continue to live there – said Zelenski.

Former ambassador to Ukraine Stephen Pifer reminds that France, Germany and Hungary have already opposed Ukraine’s entry into NATO in the past.

“That would be one way to solve the problem, if Putin wants a way out,” Pifer said.

“US call for negotiations”

Is that a solution to the Ukrainian crisis, or what could Ukraine or the West offer Russia in order to end the war – a topic that “Blic” analyzed with its interlocutors.

The president of the Forum for Strategic Studies (FORST), Neven Cvetićanin, points out for “Blic” that the war in Ukraine is, in fact, an invitation from Russia to the United States to negotiate.

Neven Cvetićanin

Foto: Dejan Briza / RAS Srbija

– Moscow sees the United States as the only worthy negotiator. The Pentagon is in communication with the Russian army all the time, and thanks to that, Petraeus has adequate information, and as a respectable general, he knows well what it means to be a nuclear power and to dispose of nuclear weapons, both tactically and strategically. That is why he expressed a rational opinion that negotiations must be held with Russia – Cvetićanin emphasizes.

As he says, that is why the negotiations between Russia and the United States are more in the hands of soldiers than diplomats.

– All this reminds me of the Cold War missile crisis from 1962. That is why I think that the war in Ukraine is an invitation from Russia to negotiate. There are two solutions. Either to make a new Yalta like at the end of the Second World War, or for the conflict to escalate so much that no one can guess what will happen – Cvetićanin estimates.

Russia wants to be the supervisor of the Black Sea

Our interviewee believes that the actions of the Russian army on the ground reveal what Moscow wants.

Ruska vojska na Krimu

Foto: Ministarstvo odbrane Rusije / EPA

– Russia is primarily interested in military operations from Crimea through Kherson to Odessa because it wants to be the supervisor of the Black Sea. That is why Russia wants the neutral status of Ukraine and to be asked about everything as the major power on the Black Sea. The Black Sea is important to Russia as an approach to the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles – explains Cvetićanin.

That is why he believes that everything that is happening in Ukraine is a “test of forces on the ground.”

– Russia is looking for a credible partner from the United States for negotiations. It is looking for a global player for negotiations, and that is neither Kiev, nor the EU, whose image has been significantly damaged. Moscow still calls the West a partner, not an enemy or an adversary, which means seeking negotiations. The longer the war in Ukraine lasts, the bigger the stakes will be. It was first Crimea, then Donbas, now Ukraine, and who knows how far it will go? That is why, in my opinion, this is global strategic poker, not chess – concludes Cvetićanin.

The West cannot negotiate on Ukraine’s behalf

On the other hand, researcher at the International and Security Affairs Centre (ISAC) Igor Novakovic believes that the West cannot negotiate with Russia on behalf of Ukraine nor offer Putin an exit strategy.

Igor Novaković

FOTO: Vladimir Živojinović / RAS Srbija

– What the West can do is possibly negotiate regarding the security architecture of Europe. On the other hand, we have seen that the President of Ukraine Zelensky sent a call for a compromise to Moscow in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution through negotiations. It is possible that a new format for negotiations will be made today, when the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers, Dmitro Kuleba and Sergei Lavrov, will meet in Turkey – Novakovic emphasizes.

Our interviewee emphasizes that NATO cannot guarantee Russia with any document that it will not accept Ukraine into its membership.

Sedište NATO u Briselu

Foto: Nataša Ivanovski / RAS Srbija

– The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will not change its founding charter, according to which all European countries can be members of NATO. Therefore, NATO will certainly not write in the founding act that Ukraine will never be its member. The fact that Ukraine will not join NATO in Moscow can only be guaranteed by the legitimate and legal government in Kiev in direct negotiations. So, only Zelenski, and not some Russian pawn – Novakovic explains.

It is still not clear what Russia’s conditions are to stop the war in Ukraine.

– A few days ago, we heard that Moscow is asking Kiev for a military-neutral status of Ukraine and recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. After that, the Kremlin spokesman came out with an additional request that Ukraine recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk. My opinion is that Russia has no chance to give up Crimea, and that there is a possibility of subsequent implementation of the Minsk agreement for Donbas – Novakovic concludes.

Russia does not want peace until it conquers Mariupol?

A researcher at the International and Security Affairs Center Novakovic points out that the war in Ukraine will certainly not stop, regardless of today’s negotiations in Turkey.

– I think that Russia will not stop until it achieves a significant victory on the ground. That could be the conquest of Mariupol, which is a key Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov, and is also a part of Donbas where the war has been going on for eight years – Novakovic estimates.

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