New Delhi: The war between Russia and Ukraine has escalated to a dangerous level, with both sides launching air, land, and sea attacks on each other. Amid the rising tensions, Russia has expressed its willingness to hold peace talks with Ukraine, but with a major caveat: there will be no ceasefire during the negotiations.
This was the message delivered by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN Security Council on Tuesday. He said that Russia was ready to engage in dialogue with Ukraine to find a political solution to the conflict, but he ruled out any possibility of a truce or a withdrawal of troops. He also accused Ukraine of being the aggressor and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia.
Russia’s position on the peace talks seems to contradict its previous statements that it wanted a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that he was interested in a settlement, but that Ukraine had repeatedly rejected his proposals. He had also said that the talks had reached a “dead end” and that there was no alternative to a military solution.
However, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak disputed Putin’s claims and said the talks were still ongoing despite the difficult circumstances. He had also said that Ukraine was ready to discuss any issue with Russia, except for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Why is it so hard to negotiate in war?
History shows that peace talks are rarely easy or successful, especially when they involve bitter enemies with different interests and goals. There are many factors that can complicate or derail the negotiations, such as mistrust, emotions, spoilers, external pressures, and changing realities on the ground. According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, only 39 out of 288 peace talks between 1946 and 2005 resulted in a peace agreement. Therefore, it is uncertain when or whether the Russia-Ukraine peace talks will take place or achieve any positive outcome.