Discussion of Article 15 of the Peace Agreement in the 4th week of the invasion
The fierce battle between the two sides continued on the 17th, the 22nd day of Russias invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces have opened fire on the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing hundreds of civilians. Ukrainian forces bombarded and disabled a Russian-occupied airport in southern Kherson, and in Mariupol fought fiercely with Chechen troops attempting to enter the city.
Buildings and cars in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraines second city, are shattered beyond recognition by Russian shelling on the 16th. / AP Yonhap News
As the war enters its fourth week, the number of fronts in a deadlock has increased, and negotiations for an armistice are on the rise. British Financial Times and Russias Sputnik News reported that “Russia and Ukraine are preparing a draft peace agreement with a total of 15 items, but there are still large differences of opinion.” As the negotiators of both sides refrain from talking about the details of the negotiations, many questions are pouring in.
① Does Putin really want to negotiate?
Key issues in the negotiations include Ukraines renunciation of membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, neutralization, and withdrawal of Russian troops. The problem is specific content. In this regard, both sides are completely silent. At this stage, the most interesting question is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin really wants to negotiate. Until last month, Putin used deceptive tricks such as “I have no intention of invading Ukraine” and “I will try to resolve it diplomatically.” This time, after taking the appeasement gesture, there are speculations that it is a tactic to take advantage of the opponents carelessness and launch the offensive again. Former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev told Euronews that “the negotiations are just a show” and “to buy time to find a breakthrough in the war.” However, there are some views that Ukraine, which is trying to reduce damage, and Russia, which is trying to avoid a prolonged war, will have no choice but to actively engage in negotiations.
② What kind of neutralization is it?
There are three Russian requirements. First, it does not join certain military alliances, such as NATO. The two sides may differ on whether to limit this to existing military alliances such as NATO or to include security alliances that will emerge in the future. Second, foreign military assets are not used. TAS news agency reported that “US bases and NATO military bases and missile interception systems are targeted.” Third, it is low-intensity armed. It does not possess advanced strategic weapons such as nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. However, this demand is not easy to accept from Ukraines point of view. It means not having allies and weapons to defend against Russia if it invades again. For this reason, Ukraine insists that “neutralization should be the way Ukraine wants”.
③ What kind of security guarantee does Ukraine want?
Ukraine is known to have proposed a multilateral treaty in which relevant powers automatically intervene in case of emergency instead of abandoning NATO membership. To this end, they are insisting on the creation of a “security organization” in which the United States, Britain, and Turkey participate. However, since the countries mentioned are NATO member states, these security organizations have no choice but to produce similar effects to NATO membership. Russias opposition is obvious. It is observed that the two sides are currently engaged in a tug-of-war over the specific terms and conditions of the peace agreement.
④ Is there any difference in the Wests views on the negotiations?
The United States, the European Union, and NATO are sending a consistent message: “We will support Ukraine” and “Russian aggression must stop immediately.” However, there is a difference of opinion in each opinion. The United States and Western European countries are of the opinion that “the war should end quickly through negotiations”. However, the former Eastern European countries are known to have a strong opinion that “we should take this opportunity to break Russia’s will to war.” It is reported that there are strong opinions that the war should continue to take away Russias power and even aim for the collapse of the Putin regime.
⑤ Is the war sustainable in Russia?
Russian casualties were greater than expected. The U.S. Department of Defense said in a briefing on the 16th that “It is estimated that about 7,000 Russian soldiers died and 14,000-21,000 were injured within 20 days of the start of the war.” Considering that there were about 150,000 Russian troops deployed to Ukraine, 14-19% of the total force was lost. The U.S. Department of Defense analyzed, “If the casualty ratio of units exceeds 10%, it is difficult to conduct combat. According to the Ukrainian military and foreign media, the morale of the Russian army is seriously declining, with soldiers deserting their tanks and visiting private houses and contacting their families in Russia one after another.