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Is the Ukraine Conflict Intractable? Is a Negotiated Resolution Possible?
Keywords: Intractability, Mediation, Negotiation, Ukraine, OSCE
Abstract: This paper analyzes the violent conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and asks whether this conflict, which became violent in 2014, is becoming intractable. It considers seven characteristics of intractable conflicts: 1) duration and persistence, 2) identity denigration, 3) profitability, 4) absence of “ripeness,” 5) solution polarization, 6) international embedding, and 7) existential threats. It concludes that a basic formula for an agreement already exists in the Minsk II protocol, signed in 2015; however, the failure of all parties to establish an effective cease-fire has prevented the implementation of that agreement or further negotiation on details of how the formula will be applied. It suggests how the monitoring and mediation efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe could lead to a resolution if appropriate negotiation and mediation techniques are applied with the active support of major states and international organizations.