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.

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Nuclear war is unwinnable and must never be fought

On 3 January, the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, the P5) jointly stated that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. So say we all, I hope. But what does it mean for the P5 to say this, and to say it now?

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Munich insecurities conference 2018

The 2018 edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), a top level meeting on peace and security issues, was held on 16-18 February. Among the participants were “more than 30 heads of state and government and over 100 cabinet ministers from across the globe”. There was not much sense of actual security to be found. Continue reading

The international security conference tell

And so to Beijing, as I might write in the diary I don’t keep, for the Seventh Xiangshan Forum, a big day-and-a-half conference on international security affairs. It is the third such event I have been to this year – first Munich, then Moscow and now Beijing. In some ways quite similar yet also very different, what can be gleaned from each? Continue reading

European security. Crisis? What crisis?

The tone of this year’s Munich Security Conference – the Davos of global security – was captured by the Munich Security Report’s theme: ‘Boundless chaos, reckless spoilers, helpless guardians.’ The front page headline on The Security Times, a conference special edition from the stable of Die Zeit, featured a box of matches and urged an appropriate response: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff.’ Continue reading