When changing ‘facts on the ground’ could imperil Ukraine’s bargaining position, responsiblestatecraft.org

Ted Snider, regular columnist on U.S. foreign policy and history at Antiwar.com

[…] The HIMARS also have the capability to carry even longer range missiles, up to 186 miles. The White House has said it has “assurances” from Ukraine that it will not use the new weapons to strike inside Russian territory. Nevertheless, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned the U.S. that the provision of these advanced rocket systems would be a “serious step towards unacceptable escalation.”

Putin says that the U.S. and UK announcements demonstrate the intent of the West to pursue “the sole objective of stretching out the armed conflict as long as possible.” Furthermore, he has warned that “if it now comes to rockets and they are supplied, we will draw conclusions from that and employ our weapons that we have in sufficient quantities to strike those facilities that we are not attacking so far.” Lavrov went further, warning that “the longer the range of weapons you supply, the farther away the line from where [Ukraine] could threaten the Russian Federation will be pushed.”

Ignoring this may not only risk prolonging the war, but it also risks imperiling Ukrainians with further violence and may ultimately be counterproductive to the West’s own goals. […]

The CNN report says one of the potential frameworks being discussed for a negotiated settlement is a four-point Italian proposal, calling for Ukraine committing to neutrality and not joining NATO, security guarantees for Ukraine, and negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on Crimea and the Donbas.

This proposal sounds a lot like earlier proposals Ukraine and Russia were apparently discussing with some promise. One of the tragedies of this war would be if it were prolonged only to arrive at the same settlement that could have been brought about many months, and many deaths, ago. Läs artikel