Julian Wucherpfennig on the difficulty of peaceful negotiations in Ukraine

According to Wucherpfennig, neither side can credibly offer the necessary guarantees. 

In a guest article for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's ‘year of science’ (Wissenschaftsjahr) initiative, Julian Wucherpfennig, Professor of International Affairs and Security at the Hertie School, considers the barriers impeding a peaceful resolution of the Russian war in Ukraine. Significantly, a key difficulty for both ​parties to the conflict is the possibility that one side may return stronger in the future.  

According to Wucherpfennig, the demands made by both Russia and Ukraine are unacceptable to their adversary: Ukraine will never give up the territorial integrity of Donbass while Russia will continue to pursue the expansion and ‘liberation’ of the region.  Due to these contradictory objectives, finding an agreement both parties can trust in the long term remains difficult.  

As Wucherpfennig states, “In the negotiations, both sides will try to prevent a weakening of their own future position and might hope that a course of the war changed in their favour will give them a better negotiating position. Until then, the war will continue.”  

Read the full article (in German) here


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