Opinion

17 November 2022, 02:20 PM

Backroom negotiations are already underway: what is happening now between Russia and the West

Volodymyr Ohryzko

Ukraine’s former Foreign Minister (2007−2009)

The West fears a very rapid collapse of the Russian Federation because they don't know how this process would go.

Even Western analysts buy into the information that a split is taking place among the Russian elite. In fact, the situation is much deeper there. Here we need to think not about a split in the elites, but about what is happening behind the scenes.

And behind the scenes, in my opinion, there are closed-door negotiations about how Putin will retreat. And now the actual heart of the question is how quickly he understands that he must agree to at least something. Because then it will be even worse.

Who is conducting these negotiations from the Russian side?

These negotiations are being conducted by people who have already understood that there will be no victory, that their future is at stake, and that it is better to sacrifice Putin now than to sacrifice themselves. Well, who are they? It doesn't take long to think here. These are people who have a very serious influence on the economic and political situation in the Russian Federation and are accustomed to living very well, robbing Russia and spending their stolen funds in the West.

On November 10, at a press conference after the US midterm elections, Biden noted that it remains to be seen whether Ukraine is ready to compromise with Russia. This is a rhetorical question. We have already begun to answer it, and Kherson is the first part of the answer. Then will come the next one.

It is just that there are people around Biden who clearly want to end the war, but they do not understand that this is an unrealistic position for Ukraine when we are forced to make concessions. It won't go away under any circumstances. I think that tomorrow, November 15, speaking at the G20 summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will clearly articulate Ukraine's position. First of all, he will demand the withdrawal of all Russian troops from all occupied territories, including Crimea. Otherwise, there can be no negotiations, because there is nothing to talk about with an occupier.

Now that Kherson has been returned to Ukrainian control, the issue of moving the Armed Forces south is becoming a matter of actual military equipment. If we have what we need, then the Russians will very quickly feel it both in the north of the Crimean peninsula and on the Kerch Bridge. Therefore, this is precisely the question, and I do not think that someone will now decide that it is necessary to slow down military assistance to Ukraine because they want to show themselves to be a great peacemaker.

There is another, deeper reason why all this is happening: the West is afraid of a very rapid collapse of the Russian Federation because they do not know how this process will go. They do not understand the algorithm of actions in such a situation. But it reminds me of the same thing that happened before the collapse of the USSR, when the West did not want the collapse. However, you understand, there are objective things that do not depend on the opinion of this or that Western politician. And Russia has objectively approached its final destination, and now this final destination is not even at the end of a tunnel, but somewhere closer.

But some in the West want to slow down this process. Perhaps in order to prepare. This is also an option. Perhaps to agree with China on how to divide Russia. There are a lot of scenarios that are being talked about behind the scenes right now that the press isn't talking about. But this is the reality in which we live. Therefore, we are not receiving the Abrams tanks, aircraft, missiles, and so on that could quickly resolve issues.

Therefore, there is an extensive global reassessment of what will take place after Russia. And this assessment requires very serious preparation, analysis, and only then decision-making.

Yes, the West is still afraid of the collapse of this pseudo-empire. But we must do our part. Ukraine has a historical mission to bury the Russian Empire. Based on the postulates of international law, one of them is the right of nations to self-determination. There are the Chechen people living on their own land, there are the Adyghe people living on their own land, there are the Tatar people living in Tatarstan, and many other peoples who have become victims of Moscow colonialism. But these peoples, according to international law, have the full right to self-determination. And the fact that Ukraine as a state recognizes this right is absolutely normal. The only question is when this right will be exercised.

But if there is an understanding in the world that one or another people enslaved by Muscovy wants to live their own independent life, then it is possible, of course, to counteract this, but this will go against the postulates of modern international law. In particular, the UN Charter. So these things are correct.

We must pay due attention to these facts in the international arena. We must explain to our dear foreign Western partners that in any case, the fate of Russia is already determined: it will collapse. It objectively cannot stay within its current boundaries. The question is how fast this collapse will be. Or whether it will end up as separate small pieces, or collapse in full.

But you need to prepare for this collapse. To be informed is to be armed.

If you know that this will happen, and this will happen due to objective circumstances, because Moscow can no longer govern its territory, then you need to prepare for what will happen on this territory. Write scenarios, discuss them, study the risks, study the positives, and make the right decisions. The worst thing would be to hide your head in the sand and say, ‘well, it can't be, because it's dangerous.’ This is the logic of lazy politicians, but I think that the current situation will make them think a little more actively.

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