Russia Might Give Ukraine Terms for Ending War

( – In a September 26 Newsweek piece that may leave many scratching their heads, Russia is being portrayed as having “just given Ukraine” conditions that could lead to the end of the conflict. The piece seems to frame the “terms” as having recently materialized as a result of the war, but students of history will likely know that the Kremlin’s “new” stipulations appear to be nothing more than what they originally wanted.

On September 23, Sergey Lavrov told the United Nations General Assembly that Moscow would acknowledge Ukraine’s pre-invasion borders if the nation would agree to not join the adjacent NATO alliance. For those who have followed the events in Eastern Europe closely, the foreign minister’s words were nothing new. Long before Russia breached Ukraine’s borders, Putin asked NATO leaders for the same guarantee.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. Countries that were once satellites of the communist empire provided a neutral buffer between Russia and the remainder of NATO-allied Western Europe.

Over the next two decades, many of the former Soviet satellites joined NATO. Their membership in the alliance gave them access to arms and long-range missiles, many of which were placed on their borders with Russia.

European leaders have historically been hesitant to grant Ukraine NATO membership. Many view the nation as a practical and needed neutral buffer between two powerful militaries. Others cite the difficulty in incorporating a country that has deep ethnic ties to Russia.

President Putin frequently referred to a potential Ukrainian membership as a “red line” that could not be crossed. When President Volodymyr Zelenskyy came to power in the nation in 2019, he immediately began pressing for NATO membership, which Putin had previously said he viewed as a military threat. To many, it appeared that Western leaders were considering the possibility.

Despite pleas from Putin, President Biden declined to negotiate with his Russian counterpart and refused to entertain the idea of permanent Ukrainian neutrality.

Copyright 2023,