By Paul Goble
Speculation about the future borders of Ukraine and of geopolitical relations in the lands in between the Russian Federation and the European Union is intensifying even as the fighting continues, Vladimir Vinokurov says. But one thing is obvious, this war “will lead to the revision of borders,” both of individual countries and of alliances among them.
And those changes, the professor at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy suggests, will affect not only the region but the world because when borders change in one place, that almost inevitably raises questions about borders elsewhere and thus can trigger developments far and wide (nvo.ng.ru/concepts/2022-06-02/1_1191_appetite.html).
“The closer to the end of the special military operation of Russian in Ukraine, Vinokurov says, “the more speculation there is in the expert community relative to the future fate of Ukraine.” Kyiv is certainly going to have to make territorial concessions, however much it now says it is against them.
And the ones it will make to Russia will lead Poland and Hungary to insist on border changes or at least alliance changes in the western part of Ukraine, with the near certainty that those changes, some of which Kyiv in desperation may support, will work against Russia’s interests and thus are something Moscow must focus on and oppose.
Ukraine may disappear completely as an independent state, something Putin has said he favors; but if this happens as a result of the advance of countries and alliances to the West into what is now Ukrainian territory, Moscow may face new problems. Consequently, it must oppose any such border changes in the west even while insisting on them in the east.