Russia has proposed a peace deal that looks like this:
- De-nazification and de-militarization of Ukraine.
- Ukraine to be a neutral country.
- Ukraine recognizes Russian Sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula.
- Ukraine recognizes the Donestk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as two separate independent sovereign states.
1 and 2 are a bit vague. In other words, Russia wants to make sure Ukraine stomps down on their radical factions and really on any building up that goes against Russia. Russia wants to make sure Ukraine’s security forces are not threats to Russia. And, as for #2, Russia wants Ukraine to not join NATO or the EU, and to stay a democratic country where pro-Russian and pro-Western politicians compete, but never push the country into something like NATO.
3 and 4 are good with their descriptions.
Ukraine should accept term #3 completely. Historically and in the present-day, plus according to human rights and the right of people to self-determination, Crimea whole-heartedly belongs to Russia. The pro-Western mob that overthrew a democratically elected Russian-aligned President should have thought about how their actions would force pro-Russian Ukrainians to wish to leave or have greater autonomy. In Crimea, they wanted to be a part of Russia even before this event. Prior to 2014, Crimea was an autonomous area of Ukraine with Russian military there, and thus, Crimea’s reality will not have changed much.
For #4, Ukraine should counter with pushing for Luhansk and Donestk autonomy, or Ukraine should just listen to the demands of the populace there and become a federation like the USA, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and many more countries are, like Belgium. These people want to be in Ukraine, but want to be in a Ukraine where their electoral rights, self-rule, and Russian language are respected. Giving them autonomy or giving the oblasts of Ukraine a federation would do wonders to cement and close this gapin lack of trust that created this mess.
For #2, this should be in the Constitution! Maybe, Ukraine can try to get a concession for it to be allowed to join the EU or NATO and not both. This would most likely mean Ukraine could be a part of the EU, but not NATO. However, a simple agreement to #2 would keep Ukraine the way it was pre-war, a win for all sides.
For #1, Ukraine should object to this. Or, maybe they can slightly agree to it. Maybe they can make certain gestures to Russia to show they do wish to make life better for Russians and punish those who are merely filled with hate.
Lastly, an interesting twist would be for Ukraine to accept #4, and make these states into buffer states for Russia and Ukraine, if Ukraine gets to join NATO, EU, and function as an independent country. In other words, since Ukraine has done well without Donestsk and Luhansk, maybe it would best for Ukraine to trade #4 for disagreeing to #2.
The ball is in Ukraine’s court. Ukraine should act fast and agree to #3, disagree to #1, and qualify #2 and #4.