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When the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia started in 2014, with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in the Donbas, negotiated settlements failed to bring peace. Both Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015 did little to return to pre-war conditions and instead created a frozen conflict that reignited with Russia’s invasion in February of 2022. With that recent failure, how will opposing Russian and Ukrainian perspectives limit the success of any settlement to the conflict? Each of the belligerents in the current war in Ukraine has a distinct perspective regarding their nation’s origins, historical experiences, and national identity. These perspectives will influence the peace process and shape the post-war order while largely determining whether this war ends definitively or simply pauses for a time before breaking out again. A lasting peace would be in the interest of the US and its allies in Europe. The obstacles that could block a negotiated settlement and how the key players might overcome them for a lasting peace will be examined below.

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GNSI Decision Brief: A Lasting Peace to the Russo-Ukraine War: Obstacles and Considerations