West voices scenarios for end of war
It's no coincidence that influential Western politicians have recently discussed different ways to conclude at least this phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war
The first option is an extended war with no clear endpoint. German Chancellor Scholz and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg both mentioned this possibility on the same day. According to these leaders, preparation is crucial for such a prolonged conflict.
However, the specifics of this preparation are not always clarified in the West. In my view, an endless and undefined marathon like this poses serious risks. It wears down Ukraine without a clear understanding of victory terms and strategy, as well as assurances of timely Western support. Even the USA, our most capable ally, faces its own internal political challenges in providing consistent aid. Meanwhile, Russia is demonstrating a willingness to invest both money and manpower for a prolonged war.
Former NATO Secretary General Rasmussen proposed a second scenario for ending the war, suggesting Ukraine join the Alliance without guarantees for the occupied territories.
It's essential to note that Rasmussen isn't advocating for giving part of Ukraine to Russia to freeze the conflict. Instead, he highlights that guarantees for a part of Ukrainian territory would prevent Russia from escalating attacks within NATO and free Ukrainian forces from being sent to the front.
However, this approach requires extensive international negotiations, Russia's willingness, and, crucially, Ukraine's readiness to consider various war-ending scenarios.
Is Ukrainian society prepared to discuss different outcomes of the war? What scenarios are we willing to accept, and are each of us personally ready? These questions are pertinent and timely for all of us.
About the author. Serhii Taran, political scientist
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.