Minsk Summit on Ukraine: Great Power Politics, Local Realities

In October, I wrote a piece for OpenCanada.org on the proposal made by John Mearsheimer and others that Ukraine should be turned into neutral buffer state.  Today, I have a follow-up published in light of the Minsk summit.  Read the full article here.

As leaders from Berlin, Paris, Moscow and Kiev gather in Minsk on Wednesday, viable proposals to end the war in Eastern Ukraine appear thin on the ground. Western governments in particular seem to be plagued by indecision. Should the focus be on providing Kiev with more and better arms in the hope that Russian-backed rebels can be bludgeoned into accepting a permanent peace? Or is a purely diplomatic solution still possible? At a more fundamental level: what is the endgame of Western policy towards Ukraine, and how should the West’s relationship with Kiev be calibrated to fit within the broader architecture of East-West relations?

One proposal that refuses to go away is that of turning Ukraine into a permanently neutral buffer state…