First, with each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that Russia is making all the military preparations necessary to invade Ukraine. Second, war can be avoided if Moscow is given sufficient guarantees that Ukraine will never become a member of NATO. And, third, Russia and China are creating a front against the West and specifically against America.
Let’s look at these points in more detail:
Europe has had the good fortune to live in an unusually long period of peace for decades and to enjoy the fruits of freedom, democracy, and prosperity in an unprecedented way.
This is an unusual situation for the old continent. Her usual situation was filled with wars, lack of freedom, authoritarian regimes and misery. Based on its personal experience, its leadership may not be able to properly assess the impact on human lives and the material damage that a war, and in fact the current war situation, will have not only in Ukraine but also in the rest of Europe and America.
So one could argue that not offering NATO membership to Ukraine is a small price to pay if war is to be avoided.
Unfortunately, things are not so simple.
While it was wrong for America to surround Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, unconditional surrender now to Russia’s demands would also be wrong.
I explain: The law of the jungle, the imposition of the will of the large beasts on the small, will lead to the devouring of the small powers by the larger ones and will bleed the world again.
Changing borders by force, something that Turkey is also seeking, has not been, and will never be, a good idea. The principle of the sovereignty of countries is a principle that needs to be protected at all costs. Whenever this principle is violated, when there is a violent change of borders, the world mourns unimaginable tragedies.
Thus, the world today cannot remain indifferent in the face of the unprecedented phenomenon for our time of a clearly stronger country, Russia, threatening to invade another smaller country, Ukraine, if it does not give in to its desires.
It was no coincidence that at the time of the founding of the UN, after World War II, it was enshrined in its Charter that even the threat of war should be considered illegal.
Putin, then, is behaving like a spoiled child who threatens to destroy everything if he does not get what he wants. Ηe proved in the most convincing way, by massing a large army, the importance he attaches to the issue of Ukraine.
The solution, however, is not for Russia to impose its will by invading, but to move to the negotiating table – after first withdrawing most of its troops from the border with Ukraine.
Back to the third point: As Putin’s recent visit to Beijing has shown, China and Russia seem to be putting aside the great differences that divide them and are uniting, to the detriment of the West. This is despite the fact that China’s economy relies heavily on exports to the West.
This alliance is very important to Putin, who can sleep peacefully, knowing that in the event of war he will not have to fight on two fronts.
The window of opportunity to avoid war seems to be shrinking fast. It must not be closed permanently. A war in Ukraine will not benefit anyone.
Not even Putin himself.