To negotiate or not to negotiate with Vladimir Putin | German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he is willing to resume dialogue with the Russian president. Is it worth trying? It’s the moment? Or it is an effort doomed to failure.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he is ready to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin again when the time comes. To negotiate or not to negotiate? That is the question today.
When Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, many leaders held direct talks with Putin to try to curb hostilities.
But as the war escalated, it became clear that dialogue was not possible, as Putin seemed to be after something that could not be negotiated.
“(Putin’s) whole motivation has been to destroy the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in fact to destroy Ukraine itself. Look what the militias and the army have done to the culture, to the infrastructure, to the power, schools, hospitals, buildings… That’s called destruction,” says Judy Dempsey, editor-in-chief of Carnegie Europe.
But to other analysts, Germany’s willingness to resume talks makes sense.
“It’s okay for Scholz to try. I think his logic is that by now Putin must have understood that he is getting nowhere with this war, that he is stuck. Of course, that’s true, but Putin probably doesn’t see it that way. So I don’t think it’s fruitful, but I don’t think it’s harmful either.”argues Kadri Liik, senior analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
It is uncertain whether direct talks between Russia and Western countries will be able to resume in the coming months. But that’s not the only form of diplomacy going on, as Judy Dempsey explains.
“The UN atomic energy agency has been incredibly crucial in keeping Europe safe and preventing any kind of nuclear catastrophe. And in that sense, it’s a kind of diplomacy. And, of course, there’s diplomacy that works on the continued export of Ukrainian grain, not only to Europe, but also to the Middle East”.