Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk wrote an article in the Wall Street the Journal , which offers painful compromises that Ukraine should make to achieve peace with Russia.
Pinchuk says he believes that Ukraine should have the right to determine her own future and Russia must fulfil its obligations under the Minsk agreements on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops. " But this can be part of a larger picture in which we make painful compromises for peace," reads the WSJ article published on 30 December.
The compromises offered by Pinchuk include:
- Ukraine should consider eliminating from the agenda the issue of accession to the European Union. He proposes to build a European country without joining the EU, while remaining its privileged partner.
- Crimea must not get in the way of a deal that ends the war in the east. Pinchuk suggests that Ukraine will be able within 15-20 years to show sufficient level of development for the Crimea be willing to return to Ukrainer, as was the case with the GDR and the FRG.
- Local elections in Donbas may be held to regain control over the occupied areas of Ukraine. Pinchuk agrees that these elections will be unfair, but, in his opinion, such a compromise will demonstrate that Ukraine wants the peaceful reintegration of Donbass.
- Ukraine will not join NATO in the short and medium-term perspective. The Alliance did not invite Ukraine, and if it were, it is fraught with an international crisis of an unprecedented scale. Therefore, Pinchuk believes that Ukraine should accept neutrality as the near future vision.
In exchange for these compromises Ukraine need real security guarantees.
"In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China gave security assurances in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear arsenal. We trusted this agreement but learned painfully when Russia invaded Crimea that assurances are not guarantees. Ukraine must offer realistic, detailed proposals on all of these points. We should also make clear that we are ready to accept an incremental rollback of sanctions on Russia as we move toward a solution for a free, united, peaceful and secure Ukraine," Pinchuk says.
The Ukrainian tycoon believes that the Ukrainian lives that will be saved are worth the painful compromises, he concludes.