Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

‘Dialogue with Russia is possible only if you ignore its madness,’ Portnikov says

‘Dialogue with Russia is possible only if you ignore its madness,’ Portnikov says
Edited by: A. N.

Dialogue with Russia is possible only if the West approaches it as “a normal country” and refuses to “indulge [Moscow’s] madness” that Russia must have a veto over the actions of Russia’s neighbors, Vitaly Portnikov says. If instead, it indulges Moscow on that point, “Russia will instantly be transformed into a wild beast.”

Vitaly Portnikov
Vitaly Portnikov

The Ukrainian commentator’s argument on that point grows out of his reflection of the recent statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Ukrainian membership in the North Atlantic alliance does not depend on Russia’s position and “concerns only” Ukraine and current NATO members.

That position, Portnikov points out, is nothing new and does not represent a promise that Ukraine will have an easy time of joining NATO. “But for the Russian leadership, even putting the issue in such a way is sedition.” It isn’t enough for the Kremlin that Ukraine be turned down for membership; it is absolutely necessary that “such a refusal be discussed with it.”

“With [Russia] and not with Ukraine.” That is “the essence of Russian policy on the post-Soviet space,” the Kyiv analyst says. It isn’t just about Ukraine and it isn’t unique to Vladimir Putin. Moscow makes that demand of the West concerning all former Soviet republics, and it has been doing so since the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.

Even the thought that the West might take any former Soviet republics into the Western alliance without discussing it with Moscow has long been enough to “give Russian leaders fits.” Indeed, the Russian government even then “said aloud” that with regard to Polish membership in NATO, the West must talk not with Poland but with Russia.”

At that time, Portnikov continues, the West showed both “courage and far-sightedness and was not mistaken in doing so. There are no Russian tanks near Warsaw and there won’t be any. But they are near Simferopol and near Donetsk as well.” Consequently, the conclusions are “obvious: dialogue with Russia is possible only if you ignore its madness.”

Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts