Why Russia must be isolated


Vladimir Putin does not want, and cannot conceive of, Ukraine being part of the European world order. Proof of this is not only his continued rhetorical doubts about Ukraine’s right to nationhood, but also his illegal and criminal war of aggression whose strategic objective is the destruction of Ukraine, so that it ceases to exist as a functioning nation and culture.

There is no doubt that Putin used genocidal actions to achieve this strategic end. For that, he and the entire Russian nation must be condemned, subjected to pariah status and forced into international isolation.

And yet Henry Kissinger’s latest statement at the recent World Economic Conference in Davos that Ukraine is ceding land to an imperial Russia, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to pursue such tactics, strongly suggest that this is not for the purpose of a just peace, but for the enactment of an outdated European order based on the assumption that historical empires are the basis of European peace, security and stability.

Ukraine’s aspiration to assert its nationhood is an inconvenient truth for those who still try to defend a world order framed in the language of “empires” and that only developed empires can ensure global stability. Ukraine’s freedom and democratic rhetoric, coupled with its battlefield prowess, directly challenges these imperial assumptions of these old-world purveyors.

What’s unfortunate is the simple fact that Kissinger is still being listened to because there is still a black hole for what a new security framework might look like. Western democracies must not react to Russia’s propaganda and self-serving geopolitical maneuverings, but must devise an approach that ultimately transcends a Putin-led Russia. This should not be done in order to humiliate Russia, but to punish it for its behavior.

If the civilized world, but above all its values, such as human dignity, the rule of law, the prevalence of free and competitive markets, are to be realized, Putin’s Russia must be isolated. Only the blind think that Russia shares its values ​​or wants to pursue common goals.

Russia’s criminal actions against Ukraine make its status within the European security framework and international institutional structures unacceptable. For how can criminal behavior be rewarded, as Kissinger suggests, by those who aspire to the principles of the rule of law? It just doesn’t make sense.

Because of the morally unacceptable and morally reprehensible crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, its participation in international bodies must be suspended, if not, ultimately, terminated. The questions facing Western leaders are quite simple: can normal relations exist after Russia’s genocidal behavior in Ukraine? Secondly, should we even consider a return to pre-war realities?

There is no doubt that the framework and assumptions of Western relations with Russia need to be changed. For if a secure, stable and long-term relationship is to be restored, Russia must be held accountable for its criminal actions and genocidal practices in Ukraine. There can be no order, nor a justifiable pursuit of peace, if a process of accountability is not established and pursued.

This means that Russia must be brought before international criminal tribunals, not only for its war of aggression in violation of international law, but for its multiple war crimes committed against the Ukrainian people. Genocidal behavior on European soil cannot be tolerated. The inaction of the world’s democracies will only be seen by Russia as weakness and a lack of determination to protect and fight for basic human and national rights. At the same time, it could undermine support for Ukraine in its cause of resistance against Russia’s authoritarian and imperial ambitions.

Ukrainian investigators began documenting Russian war crimes as soon as the invasion of Moscow began on February 24.

Any potential for European peace and security must be based on a solid and uncompromising pursuit of the affirmation of the international rule of law and the requirement of national responsibility within this framework. The pursuit of peace must take place within the framework of national and individual justice.

For Ukraine, ceding land to Moscow is an absurd idea. Facts are facts, and any resolution to Russia’s war on Ukraine must now be seen through the prism of genocide and unprovoked criminal acts committed against a distinct culture and its people. “Normal” relations with a perpetrator of genocide are untenable. It would be like doing “business” with the Nazis in the midst of their “extermination” of the Jews of Europe. Has the civilized world learned nothing from recent European history, or has it forgotten these lessons? Have we become so blind that we cannot accept the fact that such diverse approaches to the dignity of human life and the rule of law can co-exist?

Those who propose a “solution” to the current state of affairs must be required to present a case that answers this fundamental question: Can the international order accept Russia’s genocidal behavior in Ukraine as the basis for normal relations? There can be no civilized order, let alone security, that negates Russia’s behavior in Ukraine and its accountability.

No civilized nation that claims to support the rule of international law and fundamental human rights can in good conscience support the normalization of relations with Russia.

The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine is the result of deliberate decisions not to follow international standards of civilian behavior. In its unlawful aggression, Russia has revealed that it neither shares nor is informed by the values ​​that have governed the international order for more than half a century.

As a society, the entire Russian nation has shown that it is both philosophically and psychologically unreasonable and that an irrational partner does nothing to contribute to European security and stability. Instead, he turned out to be an outcast. Based on his actions, and should therefore be treated as such. Its isolation affirmed by the international community.

Russian “values” are a verifiable disease in the international body politic. The isolation of Moscow would be a form of quarantine that would not only limit its effects on the international body politic, but act to limit its spread.

To isolate Russia would mean its rejection by the world order. It would force him to become a national reflection of himself – especially of his people – who must come to terms with the crimes committed by their political leaders. And, like the Germans, potentially leading the Russian people towards national repentance – a deliberate and conscious act of admitting regret and expressing remorse for the perpetration of such heinous crimes committed in their name.

A Western secular mind would not fully understand the meaning and relevance of repentance, but the Russian mind does.

To suggest such a prosecution is not an act of forced humiliation.

Kissinger’s declaration at Davos that Ukraine must cede parts of its territory to appease and prevent the humiliation of Russia does not guarantee the cessation of hostilities against Ukraine or any other nation that wishes to break with the imperial orbit of Moscow, nor is it a harbinger of peace. For Ukraine, such a step is unacceptable because better than anyone, it understands Russia. It should not even be forced to consider such a “solution” given the catastrophic losses it has suffered as a result of Russia’s military aggression.

Kissinger’s proposal shows his complete disrespect for Ukraine’s aspiration to national sovereignty and its desire to become a modern democratic nation. In its very formulation, it assumes Russia’s alleged “right” to determine the fate of a nation within the framework of the outdated notion of its “sphere of influence.” He assumes the validity of the Russian Empire and neglects to accept the fact of Ukrainian national sovereignty.

Worse still, he essentially denies that Russia is trying to destroy Ukraine through genocidal actions. Russia has no right to force Ukraine to become and exist as a neutral buffer state. Ukraine has the right to decide who its security partners are.

The solution to the war, or at least its starting point, must begin with the international isolation of Russia and not with a fanciful reaction that “rewards” its tendency to genocidal and geopolitical games.

Western security and stability, as well as that of Russia, will only be ensured by the reaffirmation of a world order based on the proclamation and pursuit of a rules-based order. Russia’s war with Ukraine is the cause of destabilization. The result of one’s own actions cannot and should not be rewarded. Western democratic nations must not react with fear to Russia’s arrogant ways and thus allow Putin to press for peace on the Kremlin’s own terms and within the framework it offers.

Ukraine cannot be forced to accept peace without justice. This will not lead to a just solution, nor contribute to the long-term security of its people or the rest of the European continent.

This is both a time of transformation and transition, requiring visionary thinking and leadership that cannot seek “solutions” that assume an expired and more valid worldview based on the importance of thought of empire.

However, only by establishing a stable security framework based on proven idealistic principles such as human dignity, respect for the sovereignty and independence of nation states, within a responsible framework inspired by the Rule of law, that a solid and secure foundation will be rebuilt to ensure true peace.

It will take time, effort, ingenuity and sacrifice from Ukraine’s western partners, but it would be worth it for a new partner that has suffered genocide, destruction and mass dislocation of its citizens, so that he fights for his freedom and that of those of Europe. who want to continue to live in freedom.


Fr

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