Famous Ukrainian oligarch and art patron Viktor Pinchuk shared his views on the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia; in his recent article that emerged in the Wall Street Journal, Pinchuk, known for his moderate pro-Russian stance, expressed his vision on the geopolitical situation and ways for Ukraine to end the conflict with its eastern neighbor, Russia.
‘Many Ukrainians are worried about the new U.S. administration because it has promised a different approach to Russia—which invaded and forcibly annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and then initiated and supported a so-called “separatist” movement to also gain control over parts of eastern Ukraine. We additionally worry that amid anti-establishment currents in Europe, coming elections across the Continent will usher in leaders who will want to make a deal with the Kremlin’, Pinchuk wrote.
According to him, Ukrainians ‘have demonstrated since the end of 2013 that they will fight if the prospect of living in a free, democratic, tolerant and fair country is taken away. Those looking for a “realist” solution would be well advised to take this into account. But the instinctive response of many Ukrainians to the new circumstances—to demand the same as before, but with greater intensity and urgency—may not work. Instead of issuing ever-shriller appeals, we must also adapt to the new reality, and help our international friends help us’.
‘We must stand up for the fundamental principles of our struggle—Ukraine’s right to choose its own way, safeguard its territorial integrity and build a successful country. Moscow must implement its obligations under the 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. It must ensure enforcement of the cease-fire and the withdrawal of its fighters and heavy weapons, which it has failed to do. But this can be part of a larger picture in which we make painful compromises for peace,’ the oligarch continues.
Pinchuk offers the Ukrainian government to consider several ideas, such as ‘temporarily eliminating EU membership from our stated goals for the near future,’ ‘Crimea must not get in the way of a deal that ends the war in the east on an equitable basis’, ‘accept local elections (in Donbas, - 112 International) to demonstrate Ukraine's commitment to peaceful reunification, and, finally, ‘realize that Ukraine won’t join NATO in the following decades’ and accept neutral stance towards the bloc.
Pinchuk concludes by expressing confidence that ‘Ukrainian lives that will be saved are worth the painful compromises I have proposed. We must reiterate that Ukraine can be part of solving its own problems and addressing global challenges as part of a broad international coalition’.