Towards Peace and Reconciliation
Even as the Russia-Ukraine war nears 600 days, there appears to be no sign of a truce between the two warring sides. Many expected that the recently concluded G20 meet held in Delhi, would at the very least be able to begin a fresh diplomatic initiative and help the two countries narrow their differences. A positive beginning was made by adopting a unanimous declaration calling for peace, but the peace process has failed to take off as neither side has shown any inclination towards scaling down their respective positions. Rather, the blame game continued even in the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) meeting where Ukraine President Zelenskyy alleged human rights violations in his country by the Russian army, while Moscow blamed the West for fuelling the crisis.
Clearly, the rest of the world must take a more proactive approach to resolve the conflict, rather than taking sides. The ongoing war is affecting global supply chains for essential commodities like fuel and food and the world must remember that it cannot afford any disruptions to the supply chain. It is still limping back to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic which severely impacted the world economy. The world economy is suffering from high inflation and the situation will definitely worsen with rising prices of essential commodities. It’s a pity that while developing nations are in unison in appealing for peace, some developed nations have been focused on safeguarding their interests rather than helping end the conflict. The West may argue that by not including Ukraine in NATO, it has proven the Russian apprehension of western strategic expansion plan and endangering of its security completely wrong, but the fact remains that some western nations are supplying arms to Ukraine to combat the Russian army. Recently, Finland and Sweden joined hands with Ukraine and provided assistance in terms of weapons, intelligence and operations. Moscow was alarmed while assessing Ukraine’s inclination to join NATO, but the tactical support provided by some NATO members to Ukraine is adding fuel to fire.
It is high time for both sides to realise the folly of such destructive means and open doors for negotiation, the disputes can only be settled through dialogue. There are many instances of third party countries brokering peace, so the UN or other nations must come forward to initiate the much needed dialogue. Such diplomatic initiative is essential as the Russia-Ukraine conflict has created a deep mistrust between the two, which can only be remedied by a neutral third party. There is urgent need for peace building and reconciliation, before the ongoing crisis snowballs further and affects even more lives and nations.