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Experts say peace talks for Ukraine still have many obstacles

Experts say peace talks for Ukraine still have many obstacles - Photo 1.

Russia and Ukraine negotiating team in Istanbul, Turkey on March 29 – Photo: REUTERS

The success rate of peace negotiations short

The majority of peace negotiations end in failure. According to research at Uppsala University in Sweden, between 1946-2005, only 39 out of 288 conflicts, or 13.5%, reached a peace agreement.

Other conflicts end in victory for one side or the parties continue to fight without reaching a peace agreement or without victory.

However, according to Mr. Blum’s post on the page The Conversation, Peace negotiation is very useful even when the parties are fighting while negotiating, because it could form the basis for a final agreement to end the conflict and reduce damage to the community.

Ceasefire negotiations are often made when violence increases. If the parties agreed to a ceasefire and adhered to the agreement, casualties on both sides could be avoided. They can also create an initial foundation of trust that can lead to more difficult negotiations.

Peace negotiations are not a substitute for fighting. It is a strategy, used in conjunction with combat, to achieve each side’s goal.

Many great challenges

The biggest challenge with peace negotiations is the violence associated with the conflict, the anger and mistrust generated by the conflict between the parties. Negotiators must sit across from the “enemy”, which means they must have a rationale and a negotiating strategy.

However, one difficulty, and a common occurrence, is when one party believes it has the upper hand and has no incentive to negotiate. In Afghanistan, for example, the Taliban withdrew from peace talks in 2021 when they gained military superiority and the United States announced it would withdraw.

The double defeat (both sides bear the same loss) is often the reason that brings the parties to the negotiating table. When both sides perceive they are damaged or unable to defeat the other militarily, negotiation opens up a logical path forward.

In addition, another difficulty is that negotiators must not only reach an agreement with the other party, but also gain domestic support for the agreement.

This is why it is important to have a diversity of women, representatives of minorities, etc. to participate in the negotiations. Their presence is a guarantee that public acceptance of the peace agreement will increase.

However, the most common pattern, and also ongoing in the case of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, is that only a handful of male representatives negotiate.

Ukraine and Russia have held intermittent peace talks since late February 2022, days after Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine, but negotiations are currently at a dead end.

On April 17, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CBS News that Russia and Ukraine had not recently had any contact at the foreign ministry level of the two countries.

A day earlier, according to CNN, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia’s relentless attack on the city of Mariupol made further negotiations come to a dead end.

In addition, the fact that Ukraine announced the fact that hundreds of civilians died in Bucha while Russia denied that they targeted civilians also made it difficult to hold negotiations, the website said. The Conversation identify.

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