Brief/ Not Yet Time for Diplomacy. Lessons from Italy’s Ill-Conceived Peace Plan for Ukraine by Riccardo Alcaro and Nona Mikhelidze


In this new JOINT Brief, Riccardo Alcaro (JOINT Coordinator) and Nona Mikhelidze (IAI Senior Fellow) analyze Italy’s stillborn peace plan for Ukraine, arguing that it holds a lesson for EU: time is not yet ripe for diplomacy with Russia.

Here’s the main findings:
1. In its pursuit for a quick end to hostilities, the peace plan anticipated arguments that are increasingly debated. It’s worth analysing to see whether similar formulas can actually work.
2. Any peace initiative – like the Italian one – that is based on some form of crystallisation of the situation on the ground and devolves the resolution to the occupation to diplomacy can hardly work.
3. The first reason is that it contrasts with fundamental interests of Putin’s regime. The second is that, even if Putin were to change his mind, an arrangement along these lines would still be contrary to Ukraine’s interests.
4. Ukraine could only agree to that if hard-pressed by its Western backers, but neither the US nor the EU have an interest in an agreement that would give Russia room to obtain through diplomacy territorial or political gains.
5. A normalisation of relations with Russia can realistically only be achieved through Russia’s defeat in Ukraine. For as long as there is hope for that, the pursuit of a ceasefire should be subordinated to the defence of Ukraine. Only then can negotiations begin.


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