The Strong And Weak Points of the Italian Peace Proposal
A major shift in public opinion in European nations, spearheaded by a growing awareness of the danger of a new world war and by the Pope’s strong criticism of NATO, has prompted the Italian government, backed by France and Germany, to offer a peace initiative. On May 18, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio presented a four-point program to UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez, The most notable part is the proposal for “a multilateral agreement that can guarantee peace and security in Europe”. That is roughly what Moscow was seeking in the two draft treaty proposals submitted to the United States and NATO in December, to which they gave no answer. However, this is the last of the four points in the Italian proposal, and should have been the first. Once such an agreement is reached, all the other pieces will fall into place.
The first step is a ceasefire plus demilitarization of the front line to prepare the ground for possible talks and the final cessation of hostilities. This is the most complex step, given the situation on the ground. The second step is to guarantee the security of a neutral Ukraine through international agreements, to be discussed at a peace conference.
The third point is a bilateral agreement between Russia and Ukraine over the status of Crimea and the Donbass (particularly the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics), concerning sovereignty, territorial control, legislative and constitutional arrangements, etc.
Finally, the proposal calls for a multilateral agreement that can guarantee peace and security in Europe, involving the OSCE. A rearrangement of international balances will be proposed again, starting with the relationship between the European Union and Moscow in which strategic stability, disarmament and arms control, conflict prevention, and confidence-building measures will be questioned.
The four steps would be placed under the overall supervision of an ad hoc created body: the Gif, or International Facilitation Group, composed of countries and international organizations, in particular the UN and the EU. Among the countries that, already a few weeks ago, were considered for peace negotiations are France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, the United States, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Israel.
One wonders how the U.S. can be part of such a body when it is de facto a belligerant party. In any case, whatever chances such a plan has, it is a clear break from the Biden/Johnson plan to “fight down to the last Ukrainian”.
Interestingly, while the Russian Deputy Foreign minister said that Moscow “is evaluating” the Italian proposal, both Kiev and Brussels reacted negatively. First, “the occupiers must withdraw”, Josep Borrell commented. And the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign minister Emine Dhzaparova stated that “territorial integrity and sovereignty cannot be negotiable, We are therefore ready to discuss but we consider territorial integrity and security as essential.”
But don’t worry, your mainstream media will tell you that it is Putin who refuses to to negotiate…