With the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Europe is experiencing its strongest crisis this year since the end of the Cold War. The old continent, more accustomed to acting as mediators to ease tensions or to give to others councils of democracy or human rights, does not succeed in bringing peace to its own soil. Neither the Western warnings, nor the economic sanctions, let alone the diplomatic restrictions, were able to overcome Russia’s determination to fight Ukraine.
If the Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelenski, wants to reaffirm the freedom of his people to self-determination through its integration in NATO, the Russian Vladimir Putin does not want to hear about the extension of this organization to its borders. Positions remain clear and fighting continues. But Ukrainian forces, despite the support they receive from their Western allies, are struggling to resist the onslaught of the Russian giant.
And in this chaos, it is the Ukrainian people who pay the price. It is on their land that the clashes are taking place. Kiev, Mariupol, Severodonestk, Luhansk, Donetsk…, those cities that once made Ukrainian pride are torn down and disfigured. The loss of life is enormous. Thousands are besieged and/or displaced. Ukraine is disarticulated. The end of the tunnel is not for tomorrow as the differences are so deep.
On the other side, even the world is feeling the effects of this crisis. Rising prices for energy and certain raw materials, turbulence in financial markets, scarcity of wheat, oil and cereals…, everyone suffers.
It is obvious that the urgency lies at present in a rapid return to peace. It is almost incomprehensible to talk about arms supply and economic sanctions when the Ukrainian people die under bullets and shells.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi understood this. He recently called on Europe to convince Kiev to accept Moscow’s terms to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. “In order to put Putin at the negotiating table, you cannot make statements that I hear from all sides, from the United Kingdom to NATO, etc. We must reach peace as soon as possible, otherwise the destruction will continue. Europe must unite and make an offer of peace to Putin and the Ukrainians to try to force Kiev to accept Russia’s demands,” the Ukrainian politician said.
Let these councils be heard. It is time to silence egos and take the path of peace and responsible concessions.