were Russia’s demands for months starting in early December
the parties should not strengthen their security at the expense of
the parties will use multilateral consultations and the
NATO-Russia Council to address points of conflict;
the parties reaffirm that they do not consider each other as
adversaries and maintain a dialogue;
the parties shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the
territory of any of the other states in Europe in addition to any
forces that were deployed as of May 27, 1997;
the parties shall not deploy land-based intermediate- and
short-range missiles adjacent to the other parties;
all member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit
themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of NATO,
including the accession of Ukraine as well as other States;
the parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization shall not conduct any military activity on the
territory of Ukraine as well as other States in the Eastern Europe,
in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia; and
the agreement shall not be interpreted as affecting the primary
responsibility of the Security Council of the United Nations for
maintaining international peace and security.
were perfectly reasonable, just what the U.S. demanded when Soviet
missiles were in Cuba, just what the U.S. would demand now if Russian
missiles were in Canada, and ought to have simply been met, or at the
very least treated as serious points to be respectfully considered.
we set aside items 1-3 and 8 above as less concrete and/or hopeless,
we’re left with items 4-7 above.
are Russia’s new demands now, according to Reuters
(there are also four):
Ukraine cease military action
2) Ukraine change its constitution
to enshrine neutrality
3) Ukraine acknowledge Crimea as Russian
4) Ukraine recognize the separatist republics of
Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states
first two of the old four demands (items 4-5 at top) have vanished.
No limitations are now being demanded on piling up weapons
everywhere. Weapons companies and governments that work for them
should be pleased. But unless we get back to disarmament, the
long-term prospects for humanity are grim.
last two of the old four demands (items 6-7 at top) are still here in
a different form, at least as regards Ukraine. NATO could add dozens
of other countries, but not a neutral Ukraine. Of course, NATO and
everyone else have always wanted a neutral Ukraine, so this shouldn’t
be such a huge hurdle.
new demands have been added: recognize that Crimea is Russian, and
recognize Donetsk and Lugansk (with what borders isn’t clear)
as independent states. Of course they were already supposed to have
self-governance under Minsk 2, but Ukraine did not comply.
course, it is a horrible precedent to meet the demands of a warmaker.
On the other hand “horrible precedent” is hardly even the
right phrase for the nuclear elimination of life on Earth or even the
escalation of a war that miraculously avoids nuclear attacks, or even
the climate and ecological demise of life on Earth facilitated by the
focus of resources on war.
way to negotiate peace would be for Ukraine to offer to meet all of
Russia’s demands and, ideally, more, while making demands of
its own for reparations and disarmament. If the war goes on and ends
someday with a Ukrainian government and a human species still around,
such negotiations will have to happen. Why not now?