Peace summit needed to end Ukraine war, bring US-Russia peace - opinion

A peace treaty is needed to end the war, as well as to improve the relationship between Russia and the US, and also with major NATO countries, such as the UK, France, Germany and Poland

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and France’s President Emmanuel Macron meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany, in June. The writer recommends that a peace summit be called by one of these leaders or some combination of the three. (photo credit: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters)
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and France’s President Emmanuel Macron meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany, in June. The writer recommends that a peace summit be called by one of these leaders or some combination of the three.
(photo credit: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters)

In a recent column in this paper, I argued that a peace summit is needed for Russia, Ukraine, the United States and NATO countries to end the war in Ukraine and work towards harmonious relations not only between Russia and Ukraine but Russia and the US especially.

I want to elaborate on several points and revise others in response to various comments and criticisms I have received. This sequel is needed, especially in light of President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of martial law in the four regions of Ukraine that Russia recently annexed.

First, what distinguishes my approach to many others is that I am not focused exclusively on the war between Russia and Ukraine. Indeed, a considerable amount of my plan concerns the relationship between Russia and the US.

The Russia-Ukraine War and US-Russia conflict

As an American, I can confirm that our current relationship with Russia is very poor. Putin believes that the US is behind the eastward movement of NATO. Moreover, he correctly sees the buildup of the Ukrainian army chiefly as the result of our armor, technology, vehicles and weapons.

A peace treaty is needed, therefore, to end the war, as well as to improve the relationship between Russia and the US, and also with major NATO countries, such as the UK, France, Germany and Poland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as he visits the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia April 12, 2022. (credit: SPUTNIK/EVGENY BIYATOV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as he visits the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia April 12, 2022. (credit: SPUTNIK/EVGENY BIYATOV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

This entire approach is based on the simple truth that there is no Russia-Ukraine war since Ukraine is chiefly financed by the US and is fighting Russia with that financial support.

Moreover, it is entirely appropriate that the US and NATO have stood up for Ukraine against Russia, which is the unambiguous aggressor in this war. Russia invaded Ukraine and the US and NATO are helping Ukraine to fight the war against Russia.

I recommended that the peace summit be called by President Joe Biden, Chancellor Olaf Scholz or President Emmanuel Macron, or some combination of the three. I now appreciate that it might be better to have countries that are not financing the war be the hosts of the peace summit, including Turkey, Israel, India and China. As no country is completely neutral, they could jointly host the Peace Summit.

Acknowledge that Russia was primarily responsible for winning WWII

I argued, moreover, that the US needs to clarify a major historical debate about World War II, one that is the source of profound and intense emotions on both sides.

Historians, like Sir Max Hastings, author of Inferno, have argued that then-USSR lost 25 million civilians and soldiers (compared to 400,000 Americans) and killed approximately 90% of the German soldiers who were killed in the war. The US, therefore, needs to acknowledge that Russia was primarily (though, of course, not solely) responsible for destroying the German army and defeating Hitler.

EACH YEAR, Russians celebrate the Great Patriotic War (World War II) because the defeat of Nazi Germany is integral to their national identity and because the US and the West have never acknowledged their leading role in the victory.

Americans, and perhaps rightly so, remember the 45-year Cold War more than World War II because for us the war lasted four years but the fact remains that Russia was primarily responsible for winning the war in Europe, while we were primarily responsible for winning the war in the Pacific against the Empire of Japan.

The truth is that the USSR did brutalize Eastern Europe but they also were chiefly responsible for destroying Hitler’s army.

How much territory the Russians should get is subject to negotiation but there is no reasonable way forward without giving them some territory. I proposed giving Russia Donetsk and Luhansk, two of the four regions because the Russians have more control of these regions than any of the four they annexed and they have been fighting for complete control since they annexed Crimea in 2014.

Although some find my argument to be too favorable to the Russians, I do not. The Russians present the greatest threat to global security since Nazi Germany. The US, other NATO countries and Ukraine must recognize that Putin is desperate to regain some of the USSR’s empire out of this horrible war.

Ending a war that has already started with a country that already controls the majority of the two areas in question is not appeasement.

Moreover, NATO is stronger as a result of Russia’s ruthless attack on Ukraine. Given the current circumstances, wisdom recommends ending this war in order to save more lives and prevent a nuclear war. Indeed, avoiding nuclear disaster is driving the plan of what some have called in communication with me the Anderson Peace Plan.

Now is not the time to try to crush Putin’s army with Western weapons and Ukrainian soldiers. Now is the time to make a deal for peace with Putin. Ukraine, the US and NATO overall will be ready to defend Ukraine, which should not join NATO, and any NATO country if Russia breaks any peace treaty.

The writer ([email protected]) is the editor of the interdisciplinary volume Leveraging (Springer, 2014), has taught at five universities and ran for Congress in Maryland, in 2016.