New Research: Ending War in Ukraine Requires Diplomacy with Russia Now, Before It’s Too Late


CONTACT: Jessica Rosenblum, Communications Director, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC  Contrary to conventional wisdom in Washington, a diplomatic resolution to the war in Ukraine is possible because it is in the distinct interests of the Ukrainians, Russians, and the United States, according to new research released today by the Quincy Institute.

The authors — Quincy Institute’s Grand Strategy Director George Beebe and Eurasia Director Anatol Lieven—  argue that as the two year anniversary of Russia’s invasion approaches and Ukraine’s battlefield prospects fade, negotiations are not only possible but are the best possible means to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and security.

The paper, “The Diplomatic Path to a Secure Ukraine,” examines the current state of the war, exploring the possibilities for a negotiated settlement and laying out policy steps the United States could take to bring the Ukrainians and the Russians to the negotiating table. 

“A failure to recognize the realities of this phase of the conflict carries grave risks for Ukraine’s future and for U.S. strategic interests,” warn Beebe and Lieven, assessing that “there is now little realistic prospect of further Ukrainian territorial gains on the battlefield.” With this in mind, the U.S. must pursue peace, noting that “the United States still has important advantages in the wider conflict over securing Ukraine’s independence and ensuring stability in Europe — issues that lie at the roots of the Russian invasion.” 

While the paper rebuts the conventional pro-Ukraine arguments made in Washington that focus exclusively on a military strategy, it acknowledges the continued need for American military assistance to Ukraine. Such assistance, Beebe and Lieven argue, must be paired with a ‘vigorous diplomatic offensive’.

Beebe and Lieven highlight the leverage that the United States possesses to bring Russia to the negotiating table and the real incentives Moscow has to engage in said talks in consideration of its broader security and economic prosperity. They recommend a tiered framework for negotiations, covering security, economic, and humanitarian dimensions, and involving other actors in the Global South and China. Ultimately, the goal of such talks would be a sustainable settlement that “protects [Ukrainian] security, minimizes the risks of renewed attacks or escalation, and promotes broader stability in Europe and the world”.

This paper coincides with the release of a poll from Harris and the Quincy Institute, which reveals that the American public is increasingly supportive of a negotiated end to the war. More details on this poll can be found here