I just watched the First German Television ARD „Internationale Presseschau“ (International Press Review). It was the first time that a journalist openly and seriously used the buzzword neutral Ukraine and a heated and long discussion about it arouse. While the American journalist just listened interested and said that the USA wouldn’t fight a war with Russia about Ukraine and that politics should think through this option, the journalist of the Süddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper) which is very transatlantistic made the following counterarguments: A neutral Ukraine would mean the end of the Paris Charter , a new Yalta and a end of the freedom of sovereign states to choose their alliances . A Finlandization or neutrality of Ukraine was even questioned by Finnland and Sweden which think at the moment about becoming NATO members because of the Russian threats. Therefore a neutral Ukraine could mean a neutral Finland and Sweden forever and could end NATO expansion (however nobody asked the question what would be the problem with that….). Another argument was that Putin If he had success in Ukraine then would turn to the Baltic States, especially those with Russian minorities and play a similar game and that it is not just about Ukraine, but the whole European Security Architecture and Putin´s and Xi´s perpsective of a new multipolar world order.
In the press club, a journalist said, in addition to the question of whether Western governments were so united on sanctions, that in the event of sanctions there was also the question of whether the population would go along with them or whether there would even be a greater potential for protest mass movements. In any case, as advice: we may have different views on Ukraine’s neutrality, but we recommend that opponents of Ukrainian neutrality present the counter-arguments more vividly and concretely in terms of their meaning and consequences, including what the reverse costs would be. Otherwise they run the risk of standing there as guardians and shepherds of abstract principles, warmongers and dogmatists who have no feeling and interest for the costs and sacrifices of the population. So in addition to the content-related questions, there is also a question of communication, which you also have address to the population and beyond the Berlin and MSC bubble. We want to take a closer look at the counter-arguments of a neutral Ukraine and also the idea of a new Ostpolitik and think the whole thing through, even if it may be too late for that in view of future developments, should Novorussia be established. If Western governments accepted a neutral Ukraine Ischinger’s question have to be reversed: „How can Putin let the West get out of it without losing face?“. But maybe he doesn’t want that. And maybe that’s exactly what the West fears, insofar as this isn’t regulated in a secret additional protocol betwenn the great powers and not known by the international public.