Saying the US obstructed negotiations deflects from Russia violating five prior agreements
Conversations that shift blame to Ukraine for not negotiating again deflect from Russia’s unilateral role in its conflict with Ukraine. It also ignores Russia's false claims (see over 6,000 misleading stories about Ukraine) to justify its illegal conquest. Even the embarrassing defeat in Chechnya in 1996 did not prevent Russia from leveling Chechen cities in 1999, and doing so dramatically increased Putin’s popularity in the lead-up to his 2000 election.
Claims that the US is “obstructing negotiations” are misleading and ignore that Ukraine does not currently wish to negotiate. To say that declining to negotiate is declining peace is to approach this conflict as if nothing existed before February 2022. The many past peace agreements Russia has broken cannot be ignored. Simply calling for peace without demonstrating how Ukraine would be protected if Russia were to violate another agreement is misleading.
- Chechnya, where Russians perpetrated rape and torture of women and children and carried out mass civilian executions, led to no consequences.
- Georgia, where Russia ethnically cleansed Georgians and killed civilians indiscriminately, has only seen these crimes formally acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights in the last year.
- In Syria, Russia helped the Assad regime cast doubt on its use of chemical weapons on civilians with a long-term coordinated campaign. Russia has been complicit in the torture of Syrians, killed thousands of children, used illegal cluster munitions at least 125 times, and fired on US positions. “Russia has used its right to veto many times despite becoming a party to the Syrian conflict,” which violates the Charter of the United Nations, and there have been no meaningful consequences for Russian involvement.
- Ukraine received inadequate support in 2014 and was pressured to settle for peace. Russia invaded in 2022 anyway, in violation of the Minsk agreements.
Agreements violated by Russia
1945 UN Charter.
Russia repeatedly violated international law by orchestrating separatist movements and referendums at gun-point in Ukrainian territories, recognizing their “independence,” sending in its military, and attempting to annex them.
1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations.
Assisting a rebel group in another nation would threaten the target country’s “territorial integrity.” The agreement says: “Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in acts of civil strife or terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts.”
1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation.
Russia signed the “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation” in 1997. In the agreement, Russia promised “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security.”
1994 Budapest Memorandum.
Russia has repeatedly violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum since the first violation in 2014. Under the Memorandum, Ukraine relinquished its nuclear arms in exchange for reassurances from Russia, among other countries, that its borders would be respected.
Minsk 1 and Minsk 2.
Without evidence anything has changed, there is no reason to believe Russia would abide by a new agreement any more than it has in the past
More importantly, any negotiation that traded Ukrainian land would likely result in more large-scale war crimes against Ukrainians in those regions. Documented crimes include the rape, torture, and killing of men, women, and children, mutilation, starvation, grotesque scenes like human heads on spikes, torture cellars, and potentially well over 500,000 stolen Ukrainian children who have disappeared into the Russian Federation.