President of US Council on Foreign Relations said he expects no territorial changes in the next year of fighting.
The president of the powerful US government-linked Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, has argued that the proxy war in Ukraine is frozen.
He said he expects no territorial changes in the next year of fighting between Russia and NATO-backed Ukrainian forces.
At the same time, he dismissed the possibility of peace negotiations to end the frozen conflict, insisting, “There is no desire in Ukraine to compromise. If anything, they’re escalating their demands”.
Haass is a former US diplomat who served as director of policy planning for the State Department in the George W. Bush administration, during the lead-up to its illegal invasion of Iraq.
“If you ask me a year from now, if we were to meet again, I think we’re going to see something pretty similar to where we are. I don’t expect the next year to bring fundamental changes in who controls what amount of territory [in Ukraine]”, Haass confessed.
The Council on Foreign Relations chief made these remarks on February 19 in Germany, in an interview at the Munich Security Conference.
The mediator of the interview, Jack Kelly, asked Haass about the potential for peace talks, and if it would be possible to return to the kind of negotiations that Türkiye held in March 2022.
These previous peace talks had been sabotaged by Western governments.
Haass totally dismissed the idea, stating, “Look, I’m not confident… Neither side right now has any desire to negotiate”.
“There is no desire in Ukraine to compromise. If anything, they’re escalating their demands. It’s not just all the territory, every square inch of it, going back to what they had when they became independent; [it’s also] economic reparations and war crimes accountability”, Haass said.
“So the gap between the sides is enormous, and I simply don’t see that changing for some time to come”.
Haass emphasized that the proxy war in Ukraine “has been going on since 2014”, and did not start with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which he called “just this latest chapter, this more intense chapter”.
Haass implied that the war began with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, after a democratic referendum in which more than 90% of Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation. (Western governments denounced this referendum as illegitimate, but a Pew poll found that a staggering 88% of people in Crimea supported it.)
What Haass did not mention is the US-sponsored coup d’etat that overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected, geopolitically neutral government in February 2014, which set off a civil war and led to Russia’s intervention – precisely what US Ambassador to Russia William Burns (who now serves as CIA director) had warned of in a 2008 embassy cable.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is closely linked to the US government, and has a revolving door with the State Department.
The influential New York-based think tank acts as a kind of privatized arm for US policy-making, with funding from the billionaire Rockefeller oligarchs and their family foundation.
During World War Two, the CFR’s War and Peace Studies project helped formulate the strategy for the creation of the US empire and the subsequent Cold War.