Will There Be Russia and Ukraine Peace Negotiations?
With allies allocating funds and military hardware for Israel’s war against the Hamas in Gaza, US and European officials are slowly turning away from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. They are looking at possible peace negotiations.
But there are also speculations that Russia and Ukraine may never sign a formal peace treaty to end the current conflict. Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, highlighted that Russia and Japan never signed a comprehensive peace treaty after World War II because of Tokyo’s claims on several of Russia’s Kuril Islands.
He said there are such cases in history when old wars between the states have not been legally concluded. Budanov believes such a scenario is highly likely in Ukraine’s case, considering that Russia has significant territorial appetite.
Ukraine Has No Major Victories
Despite widening the breach in Russia’s defenses and being heavily equipped with drones, artillery and new technologies, Ukraine has failed to achieve any significant victories on the ground. Report says Ukrainian troops struggled to break through fortified defense lines and cross thick minefields, losing many NATO-supplied tanks and other armored vehicles.
Moreover, Ukraine’s top commander Gen. Valery Zaluzhny told the Economist that they are locked in a stalemate. “Just like in the First World War we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate. There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough.”
He said breaking the deadlock could require technological advances to achieve air superiority and increase the effectiveness of artillery fire. Zaluzhny believes modern technology and precision weapons on both sides were preventing troops from breaching enemy lines, including the expansive use of drones, and the ability to jam drones. He added that the effectiveness of Western-supplied weapons had diminished because they use GPS navigation technology that is vulnerable to Russian communications jamming systems.
It’s up to Ukraine
Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said any decisions about negotiations are up to Ukraine. “We are focused on continuing to stand strongly in support of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russian aggression.” Officials have also highlighted Ukraine’s depleting military forces. “The US and its allies can provide Ukraine with weaponry, but if they don’t have competent forces to use them, it doesn’t do a lot of good.”
Furthermore, there is no word from Russia about any peace negotiations. Western officials said President Vladimir Putin still believes he can wait out the West, or keep fighting until the United States and its allies lose domestic support for funding Ukraine, or the struggle to supply Kyiv with weapons and ammunition becomes too costly.
It should be noted that the Kremlin long suggested that peace could be achieved if Ukraine agreed to cede territory to Russia. However, there’s no sign the either is prepared to talk about a negotiated settlement. And weapons and funds are running out.