West Was “Lukewarm” To Russia-Ukraine Negotiations In 2022 – Foreign Affairs

West Was “Lukewarm” To Russia-Ukraine Negotiations In 2022 - Foreign Affairs

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Written by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

The West did not want to be drawn into negotiations and instead offered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky increased military aid and strengthened pressure on Russia, Foreign Affairs magazine published on April 16. Two years on, it is evident that the West now regrets not achieving peace as Russia is preparing for a major and devastating offensive against Ukrainian forces.

In March 2022, peace negotiations were held in Istanbul. The package of agreements during the negotiations in Turkey’s largest city included Ukraine’s neutrality status – the refusal to join NATO, deploy foreign troops on its territory, and develop nuclear weapons, in addition to the obligation to only carry out military exercises with the consent of the guarantor countries. In return for these concessions, Kiev was offered international security guarantees akin to NATO’s Article 5, except in Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk.

According to Foreign Affairs, “the Western response to these negotiations […] was certainly lukewarm. Washington and its allies were deeply skeptical about the prospects for the diplomatic track emerging from Istanbul; after all, the communiqué sidestepped the question of territory and borders, and the parties remained far apart on other crucial issues. It did not seem to them like a negotiation that was going to succeed.”

Foreign Affairs points out that “a final agreement proved elusive, however, for a number of reasons,” referring to the increase in military aid to Kiev and pressure on Russia, including through an increasingly strict sanctions regime.

The authors of the article believed that the West did not want to be drawn into negotiations with Russia, especially those that would create more obligations to guarantee Ukraine’s security. Another relevant factor was Zelensky’s confidence that, with sufficient support from Western countries, he would be able to defeat Russia.

Although those points are relevant, it cannot be overlooked that the West in 2022 did not want a peaceful resolution as it was believed that Russia could be financially crippled and Ukraine’s military victorious. Two years later, the IMF recently predicted Russia’s economy would grow by 3.2%, faster than all the world’s advanced economies, including the US, and significantly more than the UK, France, and Germany, while at the same time, the Russian military is preparing for a major offensive against Ukraine’s depleted forces.

More specifically, it was the then British prime minister Boris Johnson who torpedoed the negotiations. Russian President Vladimir Putin even pointed out that discussions broke down after Johnson delivered on behalf of “the Anglo-Saxon world” the order for Kiev to “fight Russia until victory is achieved and Russia suffers a strategic defeat.”

It is recalled that as early as March 30, Johnson stated, “We should continue to intensify sanctions with a rolling program until every single one of [Putin’s] troops is out of Ukraine,” showing that he never had an interest in achieving peace. Ten days later, the then-British prime minister arrived in Kiev, making him the first foreign leader to visit after Russian forces withdrew from besieging the Ukrainian capital.

During the visit, Johnson told the Ukrainian president that “any deal with Putin was going to be pretty sordid” and that it “would be some victory for him: if you give him anything, he’ll just keep it, bank it, and then prepare for his next assault.”

Although the West vehemently denies that Johnson is responsible for negotiations breaking down, Davyd Arakhamia, the parliamentary leader of Zelensky’s political party and leader of the very first Ukrainian delegation to meet with Russian officials only days after the war began, said in a 2023 interview that the former British leader encouraged the end of negotiations and pushed for more combat.

 “When we returned from Istanbul. Boris Johnson came to Kiev and said that we won’t sign anything at all with [the Russians]—and let’s just keep fighting,” Arakhamia revealed.

Johnson was not alone, though. Most Western leaders do not want peace, as they spent a lot on supporting the Kiev regime with weapons and funds. The US and its European NATO allies, in a desperate bid to weaken Russia, have sent tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine following the escalation of conflict in February 2022.

Instead of defeating Russia, Western investments have reduced US and NATO reserves and diminished Kiev’s ability to negotiate on favourable terms. But as Foreign Affairs magazine highlighted, the West was never interested in achieving peace and was full of arrogance and belief that it could make Russia submit to its demands through economic coercion and war via its Ukrainian proxy. This is now a decision the West is ruing as Russia continues to thrive and territorially expand while the West economically struggles and Ukraine contracts.


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The executioner

boris johnson is the man who will go down in history as the man who blew istanbul peace talks. he is direct responsible fro the death of nearly a million people. i demand the death penalty.


just like blaming foreign minister of poland, beck causing holocaust. you rooskies are incredible liars.


how do you know he’s a rooskie? i think the bozo deserves the death penalty too & i’m american.

he’s an incredible fool and piece of shit. his name will live in infamy long after he croaks.

Markus Kallio 🇫🇮👍🇺🇦

when you travel through these villages in russia what do you see. putin is talking about a great and rich country on tv. but why do grandmothers still carry water from wells? there is no water supply in the houses, outside there is a outhouse. the cabins are like after the second world war. where is this superpower? where are the riches?


russia is great potemkin village.

dead hand is ready

for those who does not know this is the incel nazi from helsinki who manipulates the likes, and use different nicks like frantisek , jürgen grabowski
etc. most likely a paid troll by the suomi government. as if manipulating the likes would change anything in the battle field

Jürgen Grabowski

who will rebuild russia? russia will have to wash itself clean of this for a long time, like the germans after hitler.


there will be new gorba and after him new putler.

Ashamed German

and why you answer your own question? are you retarded?!


you yourself are paranoid. very common among russian fascists.

Ashamed German

ok retarded pekka from helsinki


not even near finland. try former warsaw pact town, you fsb wannabe.

Karl Veltjens

if vladimir putin was just a military pensioner playing dominoes and not the president of russia, his inner world would be important only to his relatives, whom he would pester with his historical insights. his world is that is frozen in time, and united in its inherent hatred of russia. anyone who was once an enemy remains that way.

Jordan Leskovic

pretext to putin’s organized war crimes and aggression. he tries to hide russia’s economic stagnation and failure after 2008.

Karl Veltjens

one of putin’s tenets is that the west is trying to enact revenge for the defeats of napoleon and hitler. apparently, that is why it supposedly attacked russia on the territory of ukraine. hearing this may be laughable or frightening but it allows us to understand the picture of the world goes on in the mind of putin.

Jonas Strandval

putin’s propagandist dmitry kiselyov said that stockholm’s support of ukraine was revenge for sweden’s defeat at the battle of poltava. if it was real, the persistence with which these countries have tried to weaken russia would be better applied elsewhere.🤣

Ashamed German

pekka commenting his own comment 🤣🤣🤣

Karl Veltjens

there is something adolescent and self-centered about believing russophobia to be a central factor in global politics. hate is easier to endure than indifference. just as primitive marxists once reduced history to the struggle of classes, putin explains everything as a product of the west’s prejudice toward and fear of russia.


if this post wasn’t written by a russophobe, it would be somewhat less nonsensical.

romper room

well, it’s pretty hilarious listening to you europeons running around like hysterical chicken littles screaming ‘the russians will attack us next!! oh my, oh my…what to do, what to do?”

get the rubber romper room out. you’ll need it.

Degeneration Of Russia

people like putin do not react to reality, but to their perception of it. if you, as the bolsheviks did after seizing power, expect to be attacked, then you begin to prepare for war. not only a defensive war, but also an aggressive one, which will inevitably break out in the end regardless of the true level of threat. perception becomes reality.

Vlado Zurilla

unfortunately, a person named putin today seems to take dugin’s fornication seriously. putin’s turn towards such a geopolitical religion seems to have happened in 2012, when he met dugin.

Bo Jangles

lukewarm? that’s weird. i was pretty sure i poured cold water on them.