Ukrainian choice: dialogue or disintegration?

International diplomacy is becoming extremely dynamic. And as a result, the interaction between seemingly absolutely irreconcilable poles of power is growing, columnist of the Ukrainian 2000 weekly writes, Alexey Kurakin. Tellingly, negotiations remain the trend – as the only possible way to reach a compromise.

Five years ago, it seemed unthinkable to read an article in The Foreign Policy edition entitled «Is it time for peace talks with ISIS?» Well, today the words of journalist Martha Crenshaw: «… It’s impossible to eradicate terrorism only with the help of military force … therefore it’s time to consider the opportunities that could emerge during the negotiations …» , – cause discussions only among political scientists and diplomats.

In early November, representatives of the Taliban movement and representatives of the central government in Afghanistan sat at the negotiating table. There are few concrete results, but the very fact that the Taliban agreed to dialogue speaks volumes.

There are many similar examples. And they all speak in favor of the aphorism of the 35th US President John F. Kennedy: “Better a meeting at the top than on the edge of the abyss.” This man knew what he was saying – after all, he held his hand at the “button” of global nuclear war during the Caribbean crisis in October 1962.

How ridiculous and sad the Ukrainian government looks against this background!

Official Kiev recites with enviable persistence: “There are no direct negotiations with DNR!” And it only hides its head in the sand of its own ambitions and the rigid framework of directives from the highest political instance – the US embassy.

The words of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko remained unanswered: “… This is our misfortune … neither the Europeans, nor the Americans, no one else, we must solve the problem …”.

Why are there Lukashenko’s words or a pragmatic view beyond the official table! All the activities of the authorities and the Ukrainian “party of war” are not only a foolish denial of today’s realities, but also chronically unlearned lessons from the past.

Why did the government of Charles de Gaulle succeed in 1962 to take the path of ending the senseless slaughter in Algeria? Why did the fourth Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Willy Brandt, in 1969 manage to lay a new foreign policy course – not only cooperation with the West, but also the development of ties with the East? (On August 12, 1970, the FRG signed a treaty with the USSR: Bonn recognized the GDR as an equal German state) Why on April 10, 1998, the governments of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were able to sign the Belfast Agreement and settle the conflict, which was “fueled” by religious hostility?

Both de Gaulle, and Willy Brandt, and the youngest prime minister in history of Ireland, Bertie Ahern (46 years old), understood the main point very well: peace is possible only through direct dialogue, the foundation of which is mutual respect.

Today, Ukrainian society is not faced with the problem of the inevitable secession of territory, as in France in 1954 – when the anti-colonial war began in Algeria. Under the laws of that time, Algeria was considered an integral part of France. And by French society, this conflict was initially perceived as a rebellion and a threat to the territorial integrity of the country.

By the way, the events of 1954-1962 are still perceived in France very ambiguously. For example, it was only in 1999 that the National Assembly officially recognized the fighting in Algeria as a “war”. Until that time, the term “restoration of public order” was used. Nothing like?

In Ukraine (for now, in any case) there is no atmosphere of religious conflict that has filled the streets of Irish Ulster for almost three decades.

But the Donbass and Kiev (again – for the time being) were not so far apart from each other, like the GDR and the FRG during the Cold War. Moreover, between the regions of Ukraine there is no deepest abyss of contradictions and differences (and most of them were created artificially), which is typical, for example, for the Taliban and the official government of Afghanistan.

But we are stubbornly saying: “The keys to the peace are in Moscow!” A convenient position, isn’t it: at every opportunity nod towards the Kremlin, wait for you to talk with Putin. Volker, Pompeo or Pence, to ignore the opinion of their fellow citizens on the other the side of the conflict, and … to calculate the profits in the war, maintaining a split in society!

At one time, under the cruel pressure of the “patriots” de Gaulle, he understood perfectly well what the policy of direct negotiation diplomacy with the Algeria Liberation Front could cost the government. And indeed, France went through a severe political crisis, the fall of the Fourth republic, two military coup and the assassination of de Gaulle himself, carried out by the “Secret Army Organization” (OAS) – operating under the slogan: “Algeria belongs to France – so it will be in the future!” ! What is the sacrifice for peace? What are you talking about?! They would be pitiful remnants of their cheap ratings to be kept in power. And for the people, “they always have high feelings – after all, they carry them at the ready in their waistcoat pocket.”

Pour spices for wounds, fill spices for wounds. The Western Front has no change. ”After these lines, he wrote:“ But then we hadn’t thought about it yet. ”And it’s time for the Ukrainians to think, because elections are coming soon. To recollect former insults, to reproach politicians with the past. Argue about slogans, programs, and promises. But we will need to go to the polls and make a choice in favor of those who want (and, most importantly – will be able!) For Ukraine and Donbass to hear each other. Eyes to eyes. Not at the edge of the abyss, but at the negotiating table. Because the world is the basis for the further existence of Ukraine as an integral state. Otherwise, the already existing split will very quickly turn into disintegration.