The Western War Objectives

German diplomat calls for NATO agreement on the “Western war objectives” in Ukraine. New sources confirm: The West thwarted an early end to the war in the spring 2022.

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KIEV (Own report) – The former Chair of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, calls for NATO to reach an agreement on the “Western [!] war objectives” in the Ukraine war. “A political strategic contact group” should be established to set these objectives, the German diplomat declared. It should, for example, be decided, whether to “encourage Ukraine to militarily reconquer Crimea.” By establishing such a “contact group”, the West would de facto openly assume control of Ukraine's combat operations. whose early ending, according to several sources, it had successfully sabotaged in late March/early April of last year. This is shown in reports of British and Ukrainian media, as well as by accounts both by well-known US experts on Russia and by the former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, which have been substantiated by former UN diplomat Michael von der Schulenburg’s research. A cease-fire agreement had been nearly finalized ten and a half months ago, when it was thwarted by obstinate NATO – particular British – objections.

Withdrawal versus Neutrality

Talks on a cease-fire and even a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia had been relatively far advanced in March 2022, according to reports published at the time in various leading media of several Western countries. The Daily Telegraph, for example quoted David Arakhamia, one of the Ukrainian negotiation officials who stated on Ukrainian television “the Russian Federation has given an official answer to all of our proposals. Moscow accepts the Ukrainian position, except for the issue of Crimea.”[1] The Ukrainian position has been primarily that Russia pulls out its troop from Ukraine – except the Donbass and Crimea. The Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky, in turn, was quoted saying that Kiev has agreed to what Russia has been seeking since 2014,” meaning, according to the Daily Telegraph, particularly Ukrainian neutrality. Arakhamia added that the goal right now is “to wrap up on the final stage of all the issues” so that the presidents of both countries can meet and finalize everything at the highest level. He has, however, the feeling that the US and the UK will be the last to join when they see that others agree.”[2]

“Ukraine Needs Peace”

The Daily Telegraph report is in line with accounts by various former US government staffers, two of them well-known US experts on Russia, Fiona Hill and Angela Stent, who had published their accounts last September in the U.S. Foreign Affairs magazine. Hill had worked at the US National Security Council for several years. According to the US government staffers, “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement,” according to which Russia “would withdraw to its position on February 23,” while Ukraine “would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.”[3] Based on this stage of negotiations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky advocated a rapid cease-fire in the evening of April 4, 2022, during his visit to the town of Bucha, “Ukraine must have peace.”[4]

The Desire for a Ceasefire

Further insight comes from statements made during an interview with Israel’s Prime Minister at the time, Naftali Bennett, who, in early March of last year had served as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev. Bennett reports that both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelensky were prepared to make concessions to end the war: Putin, by giving up his demands for Ukraine’s “demilitarization” and “denazification” – the latter according to Bennett, meaning regime change –, whereas Zelensky by giving up on pursuing NATO membership. Both were “pragmatic,” and he “was under the impression that both sides very much wanted a ceasefire.” In one of the negotiation marathons numerous drafts for an agreement were worked out. But then the Western powers blocked the negotiations.[5] He was sure that there “was a good chance of reaching a ceasefire,” affirms Bennett. When he was asked by the interviewer (“If they – the Western powers – had not curbed it?”) Bennett replies with a nod.

NATO Intervenes

Research carried out by the diplomat Michael von der Schulenburg, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, has confirmed that a realistic chance for a ceasefire, or even a peace agreement, had been torpedoed, at the time, by Western powers. According to von der Schulenburg, the agreement on a settlement – withdrawal of Russian troops, renunciation of Ukraine NATO membership and of the installation of western military bases on Ukrainian territory – was decided on March 29 in Istanbul.[6] During a special summit in Brussels on March 23, NATO then demanded that Russia silence its weapons and withdraw its troops even before negotiations continued, an eventual renunciation of Ukraine‘s NATO membership was not mentioned.[7] Von der Schulenburg characterizes this as an ultimately successful attempt to “end Ukrainian-Russian peace negotiations.” A little later, the diplomat notes, Russia changed its strategy and now sought “through the occupation of Ukrainian territory to prevent Ukraine’s NATO membership and secure Russia’s access to the Black Sea.”

Boris Johnson Travels to Kiev

There are also several open-source media reports – particularly British and Ukrainian – that describe how the West conveyed its opposition to an early end to the war to Kiev. For example, the British Times wrote how the government in London had been “concerned” because “some of the allies” – particularly Germany and France were named – had been “over-eager” for Zelensky to sign an agreement. Therefore, on the last weekend in March 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Zelensky and “warned” him against further negotiations, at the same time, London promised to make more weapons available, for example drones.[8] The Ukrainska Pravda saw a connection between Johnson and the end of the negotiations: When the British Prime Minister personally arrived in Kiev on April 9, he had brought the “message” with him, the West had reached the conclusion that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to “put him under pressure.”[9] Three days later, notes the Ukrainska Pravda, Putin went public and said ceasefire talks with Ukraine “had turned into a dead end.” It remained so.

Where Decisions are Made

Yesterday, nearly a year since the beginning of the intervention, and 10½ months since the West sabotaged Russian-Ukrainian ceasefire agreements, former Chair of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger complained that, currently, there is no unanimous NATO position on the issue of ending the war among the leading NATO members. “This is why I believe,” announced Ischinger, it is necessary to establish “a political-strategic contact group,” to “clearly define the Western [!] war objectives, so that we all know where we are headed.”[10] It must be decided, “do we really want to encourage Ukraine to militarily reconquer Crimea?” There is currently “a broad spectrum of diverging opinions on this issue.” That decision will ultimately not be made in Kiev, but in the West.


[1], [2] Nataliya Vasilyeva: Russia has agreed to almost all of our peace proposals, says Ukrainian negotiator. 03.04.2022. See also “Everything Below Entry into the War”.

[3] Fiona Hill, Angela Stent: The World Putin Wants. Foreign Affairs, September/October 2022. S. 108-1022.

[4] Verhandlungen im Ukraine-Krieg: Selenskyj äußert sich zu möglichen Gesprächen. 04.04.2022.

[5] Branko Marcetic: The Grinding War in Ukraine Could Have Ended a Long Time Ago. 08.02.2023.

[6] Michael von der Schulenburg: Es geht darum, den Frieden zu gewinnen – nicht den Krieg. 11.10.2022.

[7] Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government. 24.03.2022.

[8] Steven Swinford, Larisa Brown, Bruno Waterfield: Don’t back down, Britain urges Ukraine. 31.03.2022.

[9] Iryna Balachuk, Roman Romaniuk: Possibility of talks between Zelenskyy and Putin came to a halt after Johnson’s visit – UP sources. 05.05.2022.

[10] Ischinger fordert Klarheit über Kriegsziele des Westens. 14.02.2023.