Krzysztof Szczerski, Poland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, believes that Western attempts to allow the Russian President to save face will completely kill off the international order that was established after World War II.
Details: According to Szczerski, the key question regarding how the new year will go is whether there will be a turning point in the war in Ukraine and under what circumstances.
Quote: “For the essence of peace, the most important question is how the issues with Russia will be sorted out. Is it possible that Russian imperialism will be recognised as an ideology that threatens the world order on the same basis as German Nazism was in the past?
Because if that happened, it would pave the way to repeating the decisions made after World War II: depriving Russia of the instruments that allow it to play the role of a global superpower (including at the UN); handing over war criminals in uniform and in suits, including Putin, to the international court; paying war reparations, and other similar measures.”
Details: If, as Szczerski says, the option of “restoring order” and allowing Putin to save face prevails, it could be “the last nail in the coffin of the postwar order as symbolised by the principles of the UN Charter”.
Background: In early December, French President Emmanuel Macron said on TV that the West would need to think about how to address Russia’s need for security guarantees if Putin agreed to negotiations on ending the war in Ukraine.
This statement was criticised in Ukraine and a number of European capitals. Poland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs stated that if anyone needed security guarantees, it was Ukraine and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Helsinki also declared that under the current circumstances, guarantees are needed against, not for, Russia.
Estonia’s Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, pointed out that it would be dangerous, and not only for Ukraine, to start peace negotiations with Russia prematurely.
In response to the backlash, Macron said his words had been exaggerated.