Ukraine And Russia Talks End In Stalemate As Crisis Turn To Disastrous Quagmire For Putin

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 Despite promises of a truce between Ukraine and Russian Federation following a peace meeting on Monday, February 28, 2022, there appear to be no solution in sight to the crisis. The two sides in the conflict had met in southern Belarus despite  Volodymyr Zelensky, the embattled President of Ukraine, initial objection. He had proposed to hold talks with the Russian Federation in either Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, turkey or Azerbaijan, described as neutral ground instead of Belarus.

 His objection may have been confirmed as  Belarus, which had provided the location for the two countries to hold talks was said to have sent to Ukraine to support  the Russian forces the same  Monday that the parties held talks to find solution to the crisis.

Note that this is the first time, the two sides had met to sort out their differences and end the war. The Zelensky led Ukraine government may have hinged its hope of standing up to Russia in the war in preparation t joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO. Joe Biden, President of the North American country of the United States, US, was said to have assured the Ukrainian President that with the collaboration of its allies they will support the country with arms and ammunition.

 He was however,  silent  on the  deployment of US, soldiers to the East European country to join in the war. Zellensky may not have read the handwriting on the wall that Joe Biden’s, Administration was not ready to drag American troops into the  war  to avoid  drawing  world sympathy to Russia. This may have encouraged him to seek dialogue with Russia to stop further bloodshed.

The Russian government may have been forced to invade Ukraine to forestall the country from joining NATO. The country had remaied unsettled since Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and three other former Republics carved out of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR,: Estonia, Latvia and Lithunia, joined NATO, at the instance of Late George Bush, a one-time US President.

Putin: President Of Russia

  Valdimir  Putin, the Russian President may have  known that the US government has targeted Ukraine to join NATO going by the Statement in 2008 by the US that’’ it might consider membership of Ukraine in the Organisation’’ which Putin did not funny.

 This may have informed why he had put a close tab on Ukraine and suspected every of its transactions with the US and Its allies. The invasion of Ukraine was the` height of the suspicion, thus sending a warning signal to US  and its allies to keep away from Ukraine, a neighboring country or be ready for war.

The Russian delegation, at the Belarus talks may have alluded to this. Acting out a script of the Russian government,  they had demanded  that ’’ Ukraine ”stop plan of joining NATO, remove all its weapons”. The Russian  government was said to have also demanded that Ukraine ”recognise CRIMEA as part of Russia and accept the loss of  the eastern Donbas region ,which Russian government  has recognised as two Independent Republics, a week ago.  

Vladimir Medinsky,  the Kremlin  aide and  head of the Russian delegation at the peace meeting between Ukraine and Russsia,  had said that the two parties to the crisis, ‘’found certain points where they forecast  common ground. He had said that further talks, would be held  in the coming  days  after both sides  had  consulted  their respective country’s Presidents.

The Ukrainian government delegation in turn had requested for an’’ immediate cease-fire to the hostility and the   withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine soil, including Crimea and Donbas in the eastern part of the country. The message was very clear that the Ukrainian government is not ready to let go of eastern Donbas region to Russian, let alone recgnise CRIMEA, as part of Russia.

  Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukrania Presidential Adviser, and head of the country’s delegation, may have opened up after  the meeting  which was said to have lasted over five  hours, that the parties ‘’ has identified a number of priority topics which specific solutions were outlined’’, but that was how far they could go.   

While the  two countries at war in Eastern Europe,   have opened up channels of discussions in search of peace,  British oil giant, BP, have led the pack of the Multi-national Oil Companies, MNOC, to plan exit  of Russia oil Industry, over its invasion of Ukraine.  The British Oil giant had said on Monday, February 28, 2022, that it intends  ‘’to dump  its joint ventures  with Russian  gas giant Gazprom. Since the crisis started on Thursday, February, 23, 2022, Shell BP, has become  the third  major  MNOC,  that have made its intention known   to exit  Russia  oil industry over its invasion of Ukraine.

 Recall that same Monday,  Norway’s Equinor, had announced  that the company had concluded plans of ending its investments in Russia’s oil industry. Shell BP, had put its long term value of its stakes in Russia oil ventures at $3 billion. Among other projects  which Shell had said  it will exit in the in Russia oil industry include  a 27.5  stake  in the country’s Natural gas  project  in Sakhlin  Island  in Eastern Russia.  This in addition to pulling  out  its 19.75% state in Rosneft, thus forcing Bernard Lonney   to resign his appointment  from the Russian Company Board with immediate effect.

Beurden: Shell CEO, Announces Plan To Exit Russia Oil Industry

 Ben Van Beurden, Shell Chief Executive Officer, CEO,  had told those that cares to listen  that they had to divest from the Russiaoil industry  as they could no longer  stand’’ the senseless act of the   military   aggression against Ukraine   which have threatened  the European security’’.

 Hear him:  We cannot  and we will not stand by’’ and watch the killings in the streets of Kyiv , capital of Ukraine and Kharkiv, the second largest city in the Eastern European country. The Shell CEO, may have had at the back of his mind that the decision will unsettle many heavy industries in Europe and Asian Continent that  depended  on Russia, for their oil and gas need, to power their plants to sustain their production level.

Liz Cruss, the UK, Foreign Secretary, may had reconfirmed what Beurden, Shell BP CEO , had said about plans  to exit  Russian oil industry. He may have provided additional information of the shell BP plan that might bring the Russian economy to its knees.

  The UK Foreign Secretary had  that the oil giant  will sell its 50% shares in Salym  field development  in western Iberia and the Gydan Exploration project in Gydan peninsula in north west Siberia.  The situation is even worse  as the MN, oil giant and five other  energy companies, which had  committed  financing  up to 10%  of the estimated $9.5 billion  total cost  of the Nord stream pipeline between Russia and Germany  have dropped the idea for now. 

Cruss: UK, Foreign Secretary Confirms Shell Planned Exit From Russia Oil Industry

 Perhaps, this may have informed why the British oil giant, have begun talks with governments around the world ‘’to work through the implications that the move would have on Shell’s business and energy supplies to Europe and Asian markets’’.

 The MNOCs may have been encouraged to plan their exit from Russia, because of the G9, decision to kick out Russian banks and Financial Institutions from the Society of for World-wide Inter- bank Financial Telecommunication, SWIFT based in Brussels, Belgium. They may have taken the decision to ensure that the Russian government will not access the over $600 billion war chest of the country’s foreign reserves.

As if Shell’s plan to exit Russian  Industry and removal from SWIFT, was not bad enough to bring the Russian economy on its knees,  FIFA, the world  football governing body may have given the killer punch  to the economy  by suspending the country’s  teams  from playing  international  soccer until further notice, according to a Statement issued by the Organisation

. The decision was said to have been made in  accordance  with the Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, which had aligned  with the  International  Committee, IOC,  Executive  board’s recommendation  on Monday,  that international Federations and organisations  should not  allow  or invite Russia or Belarusian  athletes or officials to participate in their events.

 FIFA, had announced a number of measures to penalize Russia over its invasion of Ukrain . The world governing football body and its  allies, could take the decision to suspend  Russia, from FIFA , UEFA and IOC, to force  Putin, , to withdraw, Russia’s soldiers from Ukraine and  end the war, which have rendered thousands of  people homeless.     

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