The Townhall

Russia Unveils Peace Plan

Russia Unveils Peace Plan

By Todd Davis

Putin Delivers Terms While NATO Engages in Swiss Cosplay

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Ukraine one final negotiated settlement to the conflict that has raged on for over two years following NATO’s decision to intervene and attempt to push Ukraine into the alliance by force. If this peace proposal is refused, Putin hinted that future terms would be far more harsh, amounting to something approaching unconditional surrender. The Russian President’s statement came a day before his Ukrainian counterpart was holding a peace summit in Switzerland. This marks yet another attempt by Zelensky to somehow dictate terms while losing on the battlefield. Like previous attempts, the latest meeting between the leaders of around 80 nations, most of them in NATO or NATO-aligned, delivered 5-star hotels and $500 bottles of wine among the attendees but failed to provide any tangible support for Ukraine’s unrealistic position. 

Russian Peace Plan

Putin’s plan is the first list of terms needed for a ceasefire that has been delivered since either Britain, the United States, or both sabotaged the peace deal Russia and Ukraine had in place in March 2022. The Russian plan, Istanbul Two or Instanbul Plus, dictated these terms:

  • Ukraine withdraws troops from the four Russian-annexed Oblasts of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, and Luhansk.
  • Ukraine commits to neutrality towards the NATO alliance and agrees never to develop nuclear weapons. Ukraine would sever all ties with NATO, including receiving weapons and training from NATO nations.
  • Western sanctions against Russia must be dropped.
  • Upon accepting these terms, an immediate ceasefire will be called as the fine points of negotiations are discussed. 

Ukrainian withdrawal from Kherson and Zaporozhye Oblasts would mean the major cities of Kherson and Zaporozhye would be conceded to the Russian Federation. And while this might sting Ukrainian pride, the terms Putin is offering are more favorable than expected demonstrating that his repeated statements about not wanting to destroy Ukraine have been true. In particular, Russia is not asking for Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, a place that borders Russia and an area from which many attacks have been launched on Russian civilians. Many in Russia have pushed for a buffer zone that extended the borders of Russia far enough West that its citizens would be out of range from Western-delivered long-range ballistic weapon systems launched from Ukraine. 

Putin’s plan seeks to solve this external threat to Russian sovereignty and safety through diplomatic means. Ukraine’s exclusion from NATO, which is essentially what this whole war boils down as the root cause, would prohibit Ukraine from accumulating mass supplies of NATO weaponry, likely including F-16s and other attack aircraft, along with future arsenals of Storm Shadow and ATACMS missiles. By preventing this with a peace treaty, Putin does not have to extend the border around Belgorod since Ukraine will not have the military capabilities to conduct attacks on the Russian homeland. 

An even greater concession Russia is offering to bring about an end to the war is not demanding Odessa. Odessa, a historical Russian city, is Ukraine’s last major port on the Black Sea. Odessa has also been the launching point of numerous attacks on Crimea and on Russian vessels in the Black Sea. Once again, Putin is relying on diplomacy and the prohibition of NATO weapons and targeting information as a guarantee of peace rather than direct annexation of Odessa which would leave Ukraine landlocked and greatly hurt the export of its agricultural goods. 

All things considered, especially the bleak state of the war for Ukraine and the incredible losses it has sustained, likely around 400,000 to 600,000 soldiers killed at this point, these are terms Ukraine can and should be able to live with. 

Switzerland Escapism

Affluent people often go to Switzerland to escape from reality. Skiing in Lucerne, excursions to the Matterhorn, or maybe you need to hide money in the famous Swiss banks? Whether you’re James Bond, an idyl trust fund kid, or a European globalist this is the place for you. Switzerland was the perfect destination metaphor for Zelensky’s “peace” summit; an exclusive, picturesque location where one can go and pretend there is no war going on while yodeling in the Swiss Alps.

Putting aside that no peace can be negotiated without Russia, who wasn’t invited to the Burgenstock resort, many countries didn’t bother attending, including China. American President Joe Biden didn’t attend either, sending Vice President Kamala Harris to telegraph what the Americans thought about the conference. 

Predictably, the most vociferous speakers were from either insignificant Baltic States or Poland demanding that Russia be broken up or other rambling utterly unrealistic, and overtly militaristic demands. Italian PM Giorgia Meloni was misquoted and alleged to have said that Russia would be forced to surrender if it didn’t accept our terms. Perhaps an honest mistake although more likely a continuation of the wish thinking that surrounded this event. The conference devolved into something resembling geopolitical cosplay. How ridiculous was the preening? Vice President Kamala Harris and Chancellor Olaf Scholz, representatives of the United States and Germany, the countries with the majority stakes in NATO’s conflict with Russia, left early. 

Scholz attended the summit following an election that saw his party get hammered French President Emmanuel Macron did so poorly in recent elections he will likely lose power to rival Marine Le Pen. The pro-war, pro-globalist European powers suffered sweeping losses in the recent European parliament elections. In essence, Burgenstock was a conference of losers, men and women rejected by their own constituents who took helicopters up to an isolated resort in the Swiss Alps where they spent two days pretending they still had a say in how this war would end. 

Empty Promises

What then was accomplished in Switzerland? 160 countries were invited. 92 attended and 77 signed a document that reads more as a statement than any sort of actual plan. These numbers reveal a stark contrast from two years ago when 141 countries in the United Nations signed a declaration condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine in far stronger language. Ukraine’s position has weakened by almost half in two years. NATO turning this into a war of escalation with Russia has turned off scores of nations that once supported or were open to Ukraine’s position. 

The document coming out of Switzerland, officially called a communique, is challenging to summarize because it is written in ambiguous language; the type of legal language meant to muddy all meaning. The four key points were: 

  • Reaffirmation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine
  • Nuclear safety
  • Denouncing the militarization of food security
  • Urge the return of children taken from Ukraine

Nothing here is an actual road to peace leading us to believe that most countries felt no plan was even possible to discuss without Russia being present. Of these talking points, nuclear safety, for Ukraine and the entire world, has been most imperiled by NATO’s escalation of the conflict. Nuclear safety would be ensured if NATO would stop attacking Russia. Food security is an inside baseball supplement that seeks to ensure cheap Ukrainian grain is sent to Europe to feed livestock. Russia abducting children from Ukraine is a mythical talking point. Russian children who identify as Russian were taken out of war zones and sent to safety in Russia. 

Even with these lukewarm conclusions, the Switzerland summit couldn’t come to a unanimous accord. Thirteen countries; Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, Columbia, the Vatican, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and UAE, did not sign the document. Reasons given were varied. Some, such as India, rightly stated that a peace conference without Russia is pointless. Others, like South Africa, emphasized that you cannot hold a conference driven by upholding International law when Israel, recently accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes against the Palestinians, is present. Others likely simply back Russia. In fact, the majority of the world’s population backs the Russian side in this conflict. Whether this was for ideological reasons or a reaction against the Western colonial powers in Europe and America waging the war against Russia is unclear. Either way, NATO has never been able to gain worldwide support for its cause, and it never will. 

Was the Russian Peace Plan Directed at America?

Ukraine is a police state. Like all police states, it comes up with quasi-legal justifications for its actions. In this case, Ukraine has provisions in its constitution that prohibit negotiating with Russia. How this works in a legal sense, considering Zelensky is no longer the legally elected president of Ukraine and is functioning as a military dictator until such time as elections can be held, is Byzantine, at best. 

What this boils down to is that the current regime in Kiev is likely viewed as illegitimate by the Russians. Even if Ukraine were to repeal its ban on negotiating with Russia, there are parts of the peace plan Putin delivered that are impossible for it to comply with, particularly the ending of all sanctions on Russia. Ukraine has no control over American and EU sanctions on Russia, now in their thirteenth or fourteenth iteration. As such, Ukraine has no way of fulfilling all the terms of the Russian plan. The only one that can do that is the United States. 

In all probability, Putin was talking to President Joe Biden and the Americans when he delivered his final negotiable terms for ending the war. Putin was giving the United States an off-ramp. Taken logically, dispensing with all emotion, these terms are remarkably good for America. They amount to Russia keeping four provinces that 95% of Americans can’t find on a map. Ukraine can’t join NATO which was policy under Presidents Obama and Trump anyway, and ending the sanctions, which haven’t done anything to suppress Russia’s capacity to wage war. What is the United States losing here except pride?

And therein lies the quandary. Pride. The deadliest of sins. Pride only hurts, it never helps. Joe Biden is an old man. A proud old man who has been against Russia his entire life. There are elements within NATO that would rather see Kiev destroyed like Berlin in 1945 than swallow their pride and accept peace on Russian terms. Britain certainly feels that way. Britain, as an ally, poses more danger to Ukraine than anyone. The British have little to send Ukraine; the Challenger tanks don’t work, the army can barely field a division, the Royal Navy no longer floats, and almost all of its Storm Shadow missiles are gone. Despite this, Britain talks about Russia and conducts foreign policy toward her like it’s 1854 and the sun still never sets on the British Empire. There is no question Britain would rather see Ukraine annihilated than have to negotiate with Russia and admit that project Ukraine has failed. 

Whether or not Joe Biden also feels this way is unclear. We can only judge how his administration has reacted to the war; not once has Biden called Putin trying to come to an accord, trying to defuse tensions. He has allowed the conflict to unravel to such an extent that Russia dispatched a flotilla containing a nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine to Florida. The Kazan came within sight of Miami. This is where failed US diplomacy has led the world, to nuclear brinkmanship. Considering the previous obstinacy the Biden Administration has shown, will it listen to the Russian messaging contained in this flotilla? Is it capable of rationally analyzing and accepting Russia’s generous peace terms? 

I Have Not Come to Bring Peace, But a Sword

Joe Biden is not going to accept the Russian peace plan. I don’t think anyone in his administration even considered it. The EU tried to spin the plan away as proof of Russia’s weakness. None of them understand, or care, that this was Ukraine’s last chance to remain a viable nation-state. The next Russian terms will be a demand for surrender and that document, won’t be a communique, it will be a treaty that signs over Kharkov, Odessa, and likely much more of Ukraine to the Russian Federation. 

The geopolitical class in the West still doesn’t see that. They still believe that Ukraine will be part of NATO (someday). They still believe, like Senator Lindsey Graham, that Ukraine is a gold mine of resources that Western corporate interests can absorb. Ukraine has an entire generation of men it can still conscript; 18 through 24 year-olds that can be drafted and sent to face Russian guns. NATO has no viable strategy to win the war, nothing remotely resembling a plan, victory is hinged on some sort of deus ex machina event like in 1917. Maybe there will be a revolution in Russia and the army will collapse! Astonishing that what was considered the premier military alliance in the world before 2022 has pinned its entire hopes on an act of God, a wish, a prayer. 

Despite the negligible prospect for peace on his delivered terms, Vladimir Putin learned a great deal from the exercise. He continues to demonstrate to the rest of the world, the majority of which now supports the Russian position, that Russia wanted to end the war on acceptable terms to everyone but America and the EU spurned its efforts. Internally, Putin likely has realized that the time for negotiations with the West has come to an end. NATO isn’t going to come to its senses and voluntarily end the war. Russia will have to deliver its next set of terms at the point of a sword. The politicians in Russia have done their job, now it is time for the army to do theirs. War with NATO is only going to end with the complete defeat of Ukraine’s field armies and Russian occupation of everything east of the Dnieper. It didn’t have to be this way, but that is the thing about diplomacy or lack thereof, it has consequences.   

Todd Davis

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Previous Post
Palestine’s Darkest Hour
Next Post
African Support for Russia in the Ukraine War

Related Articles

Tags: , , , , , , ,