All wars end, says Roche, so negotiate a Ukraine peace now, rather than later
Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and author, Senator Douglas Roche (ret.), was featured by CBC TV recently when he was asked about the prospect of peace negotiations in Ukraine. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Frist, bravo to the CBC for addressing the subject, which is nearly entirely absent from the debate in Canada.
Second, they could not have chosen a better advocate to bring forward the need to end the war than Doug Roche.
He told the host that the reason negotiations have not worked so far is because those involved were not serious or determined enough to employ the tools of diplomacy.
“Diplomacy was not invented for friends to play tennis each Sunday,” he said. “Diplomacy was invested so that enemies could find a way to stop killing each other.”
He added that the risks posed by the war, now estimated to have killed or wounded up to 100,000 troops on each side, reach far beyond Eastern Europe. “We need to recognize that the peace and security of the entire word is at stake here,” he said, noting the need for grain exports and the risk of nuclear explosions.
Roche said he can see signs in the military activities of Russia that President Vladimir Putin is preparing himself for negotiations, citing the call up of reserve troops and the tenuous containment of unfavourable public opinion in Russia. Roche feels Putin knows he’s not going to attain his goals.
There are still many questions about negotiations, such as whether Ukraine will have to give-up territory. But Roche says negotiations are needed to determine those answers, if they can be restarted. “We need to find a way through pressure from the international community at its highest levels,” he added.
(Note: this interview aired on October 30, 2022 during the time that Russia had paused its participation in the U.N.-brokered deal allowing Ukrainian grain exports. Russia resumed its participation a few days later.)
(Cover: KYIV, UKRAINE – Feb. 25, 2022: War of Russia against Ukraine. A residential building damaged by an enemy aircraft in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Via shutterstock)