Talking With Russia Is Tempting—and Wrong


Senior Fellow James Traub writes in Foreign Policy Magazine why it’s still too soon for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine.

In an earlier column on the letter progressive Democrats sent to U.S. President Joe Biden on Ukraine, I wrote of my reservations about the left’s antiwar case for diplomacy. The stronger argument, however, is on the right, or at least the non-left. This side correctly points out that while Ukraine’s interest in protecting its territorial integrity is unlimited, the West has many other concerns that it must hold in balance with its support of Ukraine. In an article in the National Interest, Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, recently listed the grave and long-term costs of the war: accelerated “deglobalization,” rising food and energy prices and the social and political unrest those spikes can provoke, nuclear instability, and, above all, the prospect of war between Russia and NATO, possibly including a Russian resort to nuclear weapons.

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