Is peace possible in Ukraine?

Well, yes, of course it is. All that is needed to start the process is that Russia, which started the war with its invasion, decides not to continue and pulls back.

That’s all that’s needed to start a peace process. But much more will be needed to sustain it and generate a real peace in Ukraine and between Russia and Ukraine. Much more and many years and the process will always be fragile.

I had the pleasure (or perhaps the pressure) of being questioned about this by Alexander Wolf as part of the 17 Academy project (titled after the 17th UN Sustainable Development Goal on partnerships to change the world) of the AusserGewöhnlich Foundation in Berlin.

You can link to the podcast using Spotify or Apple.

There a quite a few complexities in the arguments, nuances and examples. But to cut to the chase, I make two basic points:

1) Experience in countless places and cases shows that a peace process is much more than just the achievement of a peace agreement, important as that is. It is an uphill struggle to get a peace agreement and can be extraordinarily difficult but at that point, the hard work of building peace is only just beginning. Many agreements fail after a few years because the people who worked to achieve them did not understand this. To be successful, a peace process has to involve a much wider range and larger number of people than the formal negotiations do; a peace process is essentially a social process.

2) There can be a ceasefire in Ukraine any time. But it is a Russian decision.

My next post will look at some of the issues hidden within that statement.

One thought on “Is peace possible in Ukraine?

  1. Pingback: Putin’s 6-sided box in Ukraine | Dan Smith's blog

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