Negotiations With Russia Won’t Stop War, Critical Threats Director Says


Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, attends a press conference in Sochi, Russia, on October 31, 2022, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, right, speaks to the press in Kyiv, Ukraine, on November 3, 2022. The director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project said this week that negotiations with Putin would not end the war in Ukraine.LEFT: CONTRIBUTOR, RIGHT: GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Negotiations with Russia are not a viable path to ending the war in Ukraine, according to the director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project (CTP).

In an article published Thursday on the Institute for the Study of War website, CTP Director Frederick Kagan argued that war negotiations would be useless as long as Russian President Vladimir Putin or a “Putinist successor” remained in control of Russia.

Kagan said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after an eight-year “ceasefire” that followed the 2014 annexation of Crimea showed that the Russian president would “not rest until he has conquered Kyiv.”

“The conflict is unresolvable as long as Putinism rules the Kremlin,” Kagan wrote. “Negotiations won’t change that reality. They can only create the conditions from which Putin or a Putinist successor will contemplate renewing the attack on Ukraine’s independence.”

Kagan suggested that the West contemplate the “dangers” of any terms that Ukraine might offer Russia, as well as the likelihood of Russia accepting terms, before “pressing Ukraine to ask Russia for talks.”

He noted that Russia has already rejected any peace terms that include returning to pre-war borders, while Putin is unlikely to agree to conditions that do not include Russia annexing “huge swaths of Ukrainian land.”

Kagan said Ukraine’s position is “not yet strong enough” to negotiate favorably. He pointed out that although counteroffensives have been successful in reclaiming some territory, Russia still controlled “more than half” of the Ukrainian land it has taken since the invasion began February 24.

“Negotiations at this stage of the conflict will not yield additional Russian territorial concessions,” he wrote. “Putin has announced the formal annexation to Russia of large areas of Ukraine that he does not control … A ceasefire now will freeze the lines where they are at best.”

Kagan went on to say that the war would not end even if Ukraine were to cede the annexed territory to Russia, maintaining that Putin invaded to destroy Ukraine’s independence and ethnic identity rather than gain territory.

“[Putin] refuses to tolerate a government in Kyiv that is not under de facto Russian control,” wrote Kagan. “He has built these ideas deeply into his ideology and will not remove them. Putin will never stop trying to regain control of Ukraine by one means or another.”

Instead of negotiations, Kagan recommended that Western allies help Ukraine reclaim strategically important territory and “build up the Ukrainian military and economy to a point that deters future Russian invasions.” He suggested that a “diplomatic agreement” with Russia would only be advisable once Ukraine achieves the upper hand.

It could be some time until Russian and Ukrainian leaders meet to negotiate an end to the war. Attempts to begin peace talks have repeatedly hit roadblocks. This week, Russia rejected Ukrainian terms while also claiming that Ukraine was unwilling to negotiate.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during the G20 summit in Bali that Ukraine “categorically refuses any negotiations and puts forward terms that are obviously unrealistic and inadequate,” according to The Moscow Times.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested peace terms during the summit that included demands of Russia returning Ukrainian territory, withdrawing troops and providing monetary compensation for damage caused during the war.

Newsweek has reached out to the governments of Russia and Ukraine for comment.


  1. “[Putin] refuses to tolerate a government in Kyiv that is not under de facto Russian control,” wrote Kagan. “He has built these ideas deeply into his ideology and will not remove them. Putin will never stop trying to regain control of Ukraine by one means or another.”

    Our words all along.
    Mafia land MUST be militarily defeated. Its cockroach army must be annihilated. The ability for mafia land to wage war must be eliminated. Its whole military must be destroyed. THIS is what will bring lasting peace, not a bag of hot gasses and a stack of worthless papers. Defeat, annihilate, eliminate, destroy … THESE are the actions that a cockroach understands.
    Oh, dear God, please be generous and pass out brains to those individuals on this planet that don’t comprehend the above statement, so that they do. At least so much that it suffices.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Agree 100% with this article.
    Putler has been at war since at least 2003, when his man Deripaska hired the loathsome career criminal Paul Manafort, to get Yanukovich elected. A principled politician; Viktor Yuschenko, was poisoned by putler’s goons; this was and is an ACT OF WAR.
    This war had continued in hybrid form until this year, when putler unleashed a holocaust.
    (Manafort was jailed and convicted for a litany of financial crimes, but Trumpkov pardoned the bastard).
    To see details of Manafort and the Trump family’s dealings with Russian agents Natalie Veselnitskaya and Konstantin Kilimnik, visit his Wiki page.
    Russia will be in a perpetual state of war with Ukraine, as it has since 2003, until putlerism has been completely obliterated and replaced with a fully-fledged democracy, which could take another 20 years, but more likely to be a century.
    Ukraine has no option but to defeat putler, kick his foul scum out of all Ukraine and fortify herself to such an extent that she is impregnable. In effect that means having one of the largest armies in the world, a modern airforce, a navy and a nuclear deterrent.
    The above has to happen somehow. Countries with integrity; and sadly this means mainly Poland, the US and UK, must stretch every sinew ungrudgingly to achieve it.
    That process must start now. Ukraine must win and win big. There is no time to lose.
    Biden, Duda, Rishi; just say jointly : “no more Ukrainian children can be permitted to be murdered by Russia. We are taking decisive action.

    Liked by 3 people

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