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TOPIC: russian constitution

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Two Big Obstacles To Peace: The Russian And Ukrainian Constitutions

Even if Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky were willing to find a compromise on territory, their respective constitutions explicitly forbid signing off on such a deal.


STOCKHOLM — Debates about how to bring an end to the Russian war in Ukraine are growing more intense as the months go by. Regardless of whether they believe it is desirable, or even possible, to end this war around the negotiating table, all those involved in the debate must acknowledge the difficulties associated with that approach. Moscow’s track record of neo-imperialist interventions in the affairs of other countries over the last three decades gives much cause for scepticism.

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There are a whole host of reasons why negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow are unlikely to take place, or to achieve any significant results if they do — let alone reach a lasting peace deal.

The main reason lies in the contradictory claims of the Ukrainian and Russian constitutions. Russia’s most recent unlawful annexation of four regions in south-eastern Ukraine, in September 2022, represents a huge obstacle to peace.

It is an intensification of the problem first created by Russia’s scandalous, illegal military annexation of the Crimean peninsula over eight years ago. Since March 2014, the situation in Crimea has been an almost insurmountable obstacle to productive discussions between Ukraine and Russia.

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