Could Security Guarantees End the War In Ukraine? – French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on television on Saturday that the West should consider giving security guarantees to Russia in the event that President Vladimir Putin agrees to engage in negotiations over his invasion of Ukraine.
Security Guarantees: How to End the Ukraine War?
Speaking to French television network TF1 in an interview recorded during his recent trip to the United States, Macron argued that Europe needs to begin preparing future security architecture with a view to making some guarantees for Russia.
“This means that one of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” the French president said.
“That topic will be part of the topics for peace, so we need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.”
It’s a suggestion that Macron has made before.
The discussions ultimately led to nothing.
Would NATO Scrap Plans for Swedish and Finnish Membership?
While Macron was not speaking on behalf of NATO or other Western Allies, his comments represent a pragmatism that other Western leaders may want to emulate in order to avoid the war escalating any further.
This request was effectively denied when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy doubled down on his refusal to negotiate unless Putin is removed from power.
If Macron’s suggestion is taken seriously by other NATO leaders, it could open up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities to bring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to an end.
While Putin has made it clear he will not leave Ukraine without control of the territories that he considers inextricable parts of Russia, the planned accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO could potentially come under threat as part of new security assurances to Russia given the Kremlin’s long-standing opposition to countries on its border joining the alliance.
If Putin needs something to come of the conflict in Ukraine that he can present to Russian citizens as a victory, and if Ukrainian territories are off the table, ending the planned accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO could be a start.
It remains to be seen, however, if the Kremlin would be open to ending the war without seeing the Donbas and the other “annexed” regions of Ukraine formally recognized as Russian.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.