Amidst the grapevine of Sergei Lavrov’s impending visit to Skopje for Ukraine peace talks, Bulgaria has reluctantly accepted its partners’ request. But at what cost?
Ukraine’s exclusion from a forum discussing its fate is a blatant disregard for the very principles upon which NATO and EU policies towards Russia have been anchored since Putin’s aggression.
Western diplomacy is not immune to mistakes; the higher the stakes, the more consequential blunders. A grave error has been committed, and the repercussions will soon become apparent.
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FM Lavrov’s anticipated meeting with Secretary Blinken, where Ukraine will undoubtedly be the centrepiece, further underscores this diplomatic misstep. While possibilities abound, one remains certain: Ukraine will not yield to behind-the-scenes negotiations. Putin’s territorial demands and the irreversible annexation of key Ukrainian territories, including access to the Black Sea, render genuine peace talks a distant prospect.
Complicating matters further is the inevitable presence of sanctioned Russian diplomats and intelligence officials accompanying Lavrov on his Skopje visit – another fait accompli. Unlike the newly minted Bulgarian Euro-Atlanticists, I firmly believe in the importance of principles over pragmatism. When an ally errs, we should not hesitate to voice differences in opinion, whether they heed the counsel or not.
History has no shortage of Chamberlains, individuals willing to appease aggressors at the expense of fundamental principles. Let us not join their ranks.