At Chatham House, certain Keir Giles thinks Ukraine’s integration with the West would be catastrophic for Russia.
Ukraine’s existential challenge is that if it becomes a fully independent, fully functional democracy enjoying political, economic, cultural, and social integration with the West, this would be catastrophic for Russia.
It really bespeaks a supremacist delusion on the part of Western analysts when they think the Russians would want anything approaching Western values that are being imposed on Ukraine. Today’s West offers liberal democracy with gay pride parades, radical feminism, black lives matter, critical race theory, and other nice things. It is no longer the West that offers freedom of speech and free market capitalism, as it was during the Cold War.
Unfortunately, Ukraine is destined to be a peripheral nation far from Western markets if it integrates economically with the already developed West. Unfortunately, in the current game of Chicken, the winner will gain Ukraine, a prize that sucks. The West knows this deep down, and Russia knew this all along. Russia is only interested in not seeing Ukraine integrate with the West militarily because that poses a direct threat to Moscow. But invade Ukraine Moscow will not at the moment.
But otherwise, Moscow is not bothered by Ukraine’s overtures to the West. The West, thankfully has standards, and Ukraine does not meet them. Ukraine is fit to join NATO, or the EU. Being at loggerheads with its large neighbor, Russia, is actually very damaging to the Ukrainian economy. And in order to get things back on track in Ukraine, these things should happen.
- Ukraine must find an accommodation with Russia. Give Donbass autonomy, perhaps even recognize Crimea and settle borders with Russia. Nobody wants to invest in a country, which is at war and has internal and external border disputes.
- Ukraine must clean the house of destructive elements like radical nationalism, corruption, banditism. discrimination of Russian speakers. No economy can function properly in the environment that is today’s Ukraine.
- Have a trade deal with Russia and the EU, and declare neutrality as its national policy. Ukraine has the chance to become a prosperous hub at the crossroads of East and West, and North and South.
Here in the West, we need to understand that we have little to offer Ukraine but perhaps some old grenades with which to kill themselves. The West does not need Ukraine’s industry, or markets.