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The Sirens of Appeasement

Arguments that Ukraine should be pushed to negotiate a peace settlement with Russia are music to Vladimir Putin’s ears. In annexing large swaths of Ukrainian territory through sham referendums and arguing that Ukraine is effectively a fake country, Putin has made no secret of his ultimate intentions.

TBILISI – Wars are easier to start than to finish, and their finale rarely follows any prescribed script. But if you are the aggressor, a clear zero-sum victory is rarely an option.

Nonetheless, with no end in sight for the Russian-Ukrainian War, calls by some in the West to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a “face-saving offramp” out of the conflict are growing louder. Most of these arguments start with the flawed presumption that Putin had a valid reason for his war, which would justify a peace that compromises Ukraine’s sovereignty yet again.

The 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest supposedly incited Putin’s ire by granting Georgia and Ukraine a promise of eventual membership in the alliance. Never mind that there was no membership action plan for either country put forward, owing to lack of support from Germany and France.

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