Saturday, November 4, 2023

An Indirect Signal?

 COTTonLINE's favorite foreign policy pundit, George Friedman, writes analysis I've not seen elsewhere.

An interesting statement was issued in Belarus, a place where interesting things rarely emerge. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the war in Ukraine is at an end, and that neither Ukraine nor Russia has the ability to defeat the other. Each side must accept this reality, he said, and should negotiate an end to the conflict.

Lukashenko is Putin’s subordinate. So it’s highly unlikely that he would have issued such a statement without first clearing it with Putin. And if Putin gave the go-ahead, it means Moscow may well be prepared to negotiate. Putin, of course, cannot admit as much because it would indicate weakness.

Maybe a negotiated settlement is possible after all. It is unlikely President Zelensky is ready to talk, barring a cutoff in US aid.