Which of the BBC's postwar “many versions of neutrality” are candidates for one which “meets the competing needs of Kyiv and Moscow”?

The Politicus
Mar 28, 2022 05:38 PM 0 Answers
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The BBC's 2022-03-28 Zelensky says Ukraine prepared to discuss neutrality in peace talks says:

In an interview with independent Russian journalists, Volodymyr Zelensky said any such deal would have to be put to a referendum in Ukraine.


"Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point," Mr Zelensky said in the 90-minute video call.

Neutrality means a country does not ally itself militarily with others.

and later:

The possibility of Ukrainian neutrality is not new. It's been discussed by Russian and Ukrainian officials for at least two weeks.

But President Zelensky's reference is perhaps the most explicit so far.

Clearly, there's no room for Nato membership in such a vision of Ukraine's future.

Removing that aspiration from Ukraine's constitution (it was added in 2019) will need to be put to a referendum. With support for membership at an all-time high, it will be a bitter pill for many Ukrainians to swallow.

The key will be what sort of security guarantees can possibly take the place of being a member of the Western alliance.

Ukrainian officials insist that guarantees will need to be much more specific than the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which gave Ukraine security assurances in return for giving up its stock of nuclear weapons.

Ukraine will want to know the precise terms under which countries are prepared to come to its defence in the event of further Russian aggression.

There are many versions of neutrality. Finding one that meets the competing needs of Kyiv and Moscow will not be simple.

Question: Which of the BBC's post-WWII "many versions of neutrality" are candidates for one which "meets the competing needs of Kyiv and Moscow"?

A country is widely considered to be "neutral" might still take specific positions; Switzerland seems to have thoughts on the Russian-Ukranian conflict as does Japan, who also has some thoughts on the evolving situation in the South China Sea.

But of all the examples of neutrality in the post-WWII world, which are the closest candidates for Ukraine's situation, both in terms of the current status of the Russo-Ukrainian War and in terms of Ukraine's geographical situation bordering both a country of the NATO alliance and The Russian Federation?

World Population Review's Neutral Countries 2022 gives some current examples (though answers may include examples that worked post-WWII for a significant period of time even if not into the 21st century):

Switzerland has been a neutral country since 1815, including during World War II. Today, Switzerland has a sizable military to deter aggression, holding to “armed neutrality” but forbidding foreign deployment. Other countries, such as Costa Rica, have demilitarized. While some countries see neutrality as avoiding political and military alliances, Austria, Ireland, Finland, and Sweden have United Nations (UN) peacekeeping forces and a political alliance with the European Union. Today, the countries considered to be genuinely neutral are Finland, Malta, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkmenistan, and Vatican City. Many other countries are also considered to be neutral.

It also currently shows Ukraine as neutral on its map for 2022.

Potentially helpful questions and/or answers:

One of the core demands that Russia is making on Ukraine is that Ukraine enshrine neutrality, thereby permanently refraining from joining NATO. In other words, one of the reasons Russia went to war is to stop Ukraine from joining NATO.

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