Yesterday I read Andrei Yermak's statement, then Henry Kissinger's statement appeared in the mass media, and then I remembered Kurt Walker's recent interviews and puzzles began to form.
But first, I will quote all the quotes so that you can see the whole picture.
Ermak: The country has an offer for the West that can make the world safer. I wrote about this, as well as the work of our international group on security guarantees, which I lead together with former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, for The Guardian.
We already have the unsuccessful experience of the Budapest memorandum, the wording of which has not passed the test of time and Russia's ambitions. In fact, the mistakes of the past have endangered the security of the entire world.
Therefore, it is now important for our and the world's security to develop real security guarantees. This corresponds to the interests of Ukraine and world powers. These guarantees can become one of the pillars of the world order.
Our nation's long-term goal remains NATO membership, but we need legally binding guarantees from our allies to provide weapons, share intelligence, and support our defense industry and economic capacity.
We know enough to be sure that there is no such peace agreement under which Russia would put its signature and keep its word. Given the actions of the Russian Federation in Syria and its behavior after the seizure of Crimea, it should be obvious: Russia is using peace negotiations as a distraction and a trap, not striving to find a compromise solution.
Our international security assurance group plans to present recommendations to the global community in the near future.
Reassurances do not work, guarantees are needed, because this is an opportunity for the collective West to oppose the barbaric ambitions of Russia.
Earlier, Ermak spoke about the need to end the active phase before winter.
2 days ago, Kissinger's statement appeared during the presentation of his new book Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy. Details appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 13.
"I was in favor of the complete independence of Ukraine, but I believed that something like Finland would be the best role for it ," Kissinger said.
However, "the lot has been cast, and after Russia's behavior in Ukraine", one way or another Ukraine is treated as a member of NATO.
At the same time, Kissinger said that he foresees a "settlement" that will supposedly preserve for Russia the territories occupied in 2014, although he has no answer to the question of how such a settlement would differ from the "failed agreement to stabilize the 8-year-old conflict"
Former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin of Ukraine quickly reacted to this statement: "Kissinger never says anything in vain. His words that "the lot has been cast" and Ukraine should be formally or informally perceived as part of NATO are worth a lot. The grandmaster of geopolitics believes that the bets are made. Me too ), there will be no more gray areas."
And then I remembered the interview of Kurt Walker, which he gave last week to UP and "Glavkom",
"I am sure that Ukraine should become a member of NATO. It is unacceptable that there should be gray areas after the war. After the end of Ukraine's war with Russia, we should return to this issue. There is skepticism, but Russia's aggression has changed a lot. Ukraine will win this war. Perhaps , something like peace will be achieved. Russia may change under the influence of failed aggression, but it will be impossible to maintain the achieved level of security until Ukraine becomes a member of NATO. And Georgia too. As soon as we in NATO start a discussion about gray areas, Georgia will be a part of them".
It is in the part about Georgia that an interesting thesis was identified, which can be the basis of new agreements between the West and Russia regarding the status of Ukraine.
"NATO Secretary General Rasmussen outlined the way for Georgia to join NATO with occupied territories two years ago. Rasmussen's formula assumes that countries joining NATO undertake not to return occupied territories by force, and Article 5 of NATO will apply only to those territories controlled by the government. "Ukraine must fight to regain the occupied territories. But it cannot be ruled out that this formula may also work in relation to Ukraine," Volker said.
Given the presence of Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the group with Andrey Yermak, it seems that this is exactly the mechanism for getting out of the war.
Sooner or later, a point of equilibrium will be established, as during the Korean War in 1950-1953.
Walker clearly indicated why the Americans do not overwhelm Ukraine with weapons, so as not to create an advantage in the possibilities of an attack. "The White House does not want to create the impression that it entered into a direct conflict with Russia. Biden's logic is to show the borders of victory in the spirit that we are not at war with Russia, this is a purely Russian-Ukrainian war," he said. That is, Biden is playing to wear Russia down, but at the same time he is limited by a number of factors (internal and external, for example, the state of affairs of European allies).
Ukraine's counteroffensive will fix the limits of possible deoccupation this season. If the counteroffensive will be successful, it will strengthen the motivation of the USA to increase aid, since Ukraine's victories will benefit Biden (although here, too, the influence of the Ukrainian theme on the domestic agenda in the USA should not be overestimated). In addition, this will motivate Russia to enter the negotiation process, since it has not yet had time to mobilize. Then there is a window for negotiations at the end of autumn after the mid-term elections with the USA. This is the first scenario. I think that there will be an option in it when Ukraine returns everything with the exception of ORDLO and Crimea. Their status will be fixed and the option of joining NATO according to Rasmussen's formula may appear.
However, Russia seems to be betting on the fact that it is necessary to freeze Europe and Ukraine, shaking up the social and economic situation. At the same time, Russia will mobilize the army during the winter so that a new offensive can be launched in the spring. If the winter is bad for Ukraine and Europe, then Russia has the opportunity to threaten a new phase of the invasion to force the West to enter into a negotiating position. Negotiations against the background of the collapse of the economy and infrastructure will make Ukraine's position extremely weak, and the West's motivation to make concessions will be higher. This is the second scenario , the worst for Ukraine in the short term.
Finally, the third scenario is when Russia starts an offensive in the spring, conducting a winter mobilization, but again cannot reach a strategic turning point in the war, and then another window of opportunity for starting negotiations will be formed in the fall of the following year.
In any case, the successful outcome of the war for Ukraine will directly depend on its stability, which the West will be guided by. And in the rear, Ukraine has not yet started mobilization at all.