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Returning to the talks that could have ended the war in Ukraine

33 minutes
Returning to the talks that could have ended the war in Ukraine

Over the past few weeks, many in the think-tank community have argued about the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv in the first two months of the full-scale invasion, following an article published on April 16 in Foreign Affairs, titled “The Talks That Could Have Ended the War in Ukraine: A Hidden History of Diplomacy That Came Up Short — but Holds Lessons for Future Negotiations,” by Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, and Sergey Radchenko, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Europe.

In their article, Charap and Radchenko acknowledge that today’s prospects for negotiations “appear dim and relations between the parties are nearly nonexistent,” but they argue that the “mutual willingness” of both Putin and Zelensky in March and April 2022 “to consider far-reaching concessions to end the war” suggest that these two leaders “might well surprise everyone again in the future.” Charap and Radchenko joined The Naked Pravda to talk about this largely forgotten diplomacy, as well as the reactions to their research and what it might reveal in the years ahead.

Timestamps for this episode:

  • (2:27) Summary of the Foreign Affairs article
  • (4:46) Entertaining the idea that Russia negotiated in good faith
  • (7:41) If Putin was open to concessions during early setbacks, could the West hope for leverage again?
  • (12:51) Criticism from Poland’s think-tank community
  • (15:13) Lessons and recommendations for tomorrow’s parallel-track diplomacy?
  • (20:40) The biggest surprises in this research
  • (26:46) The shape of a possible peace to come

Sergey Radchenko’s book

Sound editing by Kevin Rothrock