This study was carried out to examine the role of mediation in the Russian- Ukraine conflict. Specifically, the study examine the reason for the Russian – Ukrainian conflict. The study also evaluate the role of the United Nations in the face of a crisis. Lastly, the study investigate the mediating role of the European Union in the Russian – Ukraine. The study adopted the historical analysis. The findings revealed that majority of the Ukrainian respondents perceived the EU as on its side in the conflict – EU sanctions against Russia being the primary indicator. Still, the effectiveness of the EU’s policies, backed by sanctions, was tempered by perceived EU economic self-interest in Russia. Although Ukrainian elites perceived the EU as a biased mediator in their favor, they were not convinced that this will, in the end, protect Ukrainian interests, as the EU was seen to be shortsighted and limited by economic and security concerns. The lack of EU mediator effectiveness was, however, also explained by referring to Russia as a “tough case” uninterested in a negotiated solution. The study thereby recommend that the European Union in its quest to brokering peace between Russian and Ukraine should endeavor not to be biased against one party at the detriment of the other party involved in the crisis as this could lead to irresolution of the crisis.
1.1 Background of the study
According to Gross, (2022) it’s not simple to figure just how beneficial mediation is. Indeed, in certain circumstances of mediation, there is no obvious distinction between’ success’ and ‘failure’ (Gross, 2022), since such judgement are highly dependent on the conflict’s temporal horizon. Effectiveness may be judged objectively ( the design of a peace deal, its quality, etc.) or subjectively ( the effectiveness of a peace agreement). Subjective measurements are based on people’s opinions of their ability to achieve their goals (Gross, 2022). Addressing the subjective view points of the conflict parties helps to grasp their interpretations of a very complicated scenario in which ‘objective’ measures of success are strongly contested. Comparing the perspectives allows the researcher to see how divergent interpretations of the issue might stymie EU– Ukraine cooperation and impede conflict settlement (Merlingen,2019). Following a review of relevant international mediation literature, it has been zeroed in on four characteristics that are widely regarded as key predictors of mediation efficacy. Three of them are related to mediator qualities, while the fourth is related to mediator behavior. The february 2022 Russian and Ukrainian crisis presented Western nations to make clear their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and its right to choose its security partnerships(Kartsonaki and Wolff, 2022). They have warned Russia that any military escalation will have significant economic consequences. Among measures being discussed are sanctions against Russia’s financial institutions, energy sector, and individuals close to the Kremlin(NEU, 2022). Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe could be halted as part of any sanctions package. Military assistance from the UK, US, NATO and the EU is also being provided to Ukraine NEU(2022). The Normandy framework, which included Germany and France as mediators, provided proof of this. Mediation and diplomacy continues with several world leaders having visited Moscow for talks in recent weeks. At the time of writing, it is unclear whether the Kremlin will agree to NATO’s proposal for more substantive security talks in the longer term Poroshenko,(2022). A Russian response to the US’s counter proposals on legally binding security guarantees was received by the US administration on 17 February 2022 and is currently being considered NEU(2022). The European Union was perceived as a more concentrated player during Euromaidan (November 2013-February 2014). It was not only up to the European Commission, but also the European Parliament, to become involved. Later, a common stance on sanctions against Russia was developed (after lengthy talks and negotiating) as a result of the Russian Federation’s participation in the Ukrainian issue (Poroshenko,2022). Even in the post-Soviet region, the EU is considered as a “honest mediator” who is welcomed to the negotiating table of conflict settlements. The situation in Ukraine is unique, as one cannot overlook the fact that the Russian, Ukrainian crisis was the first to be sparked by the country’s ambition for active European integration NEU,(2022). As a result, the essential need of excellent mediation ,impartiality was more difficult to provide under these circumstances. The leverage of future European integration, for example, played a crucial part in the EU-mediated Kosovo-Serbia reconciliation in 2013. While this reasoning was ineffective in the Moldova-Transnistria conflict, it is much less effective in Ukraine NEU,(2022). One of the most crucial topics is what motivates the EU’s engagement in conflict resolution. Is it motivated by human or European security imperatives, as Argyro Kartsonaki and Stefan Wolff in 2022 question in their article? In the sense of a norms-based strategy informed by the human security approach, and a utility-based policy that seeks stronger European security in the sense of greater security for the EU, its population, and member states (Kartsonaki and Wolff, 2022). It raises the issue of the European Union member states’ incentive to participate in dispute resolution in various ways. On the one hand, the EU’s normative approach and a basic principle of unification – no more war in Europe provides a pacifistic approach to settling problems in other countries that threaten democracy, human security, development, and collaboration in Europe (Poroshenko,2022). On the other hand, the purpose might be seen as one of safeguarding its own security, limiting spillover effects, bolstering national interests, and reducing the harmful impact of transnational threats. At the same time, it should be noted that the EU’s incentive to become involved varies depending on how close the conflict is to its borders. The EU uses a human security strategy, although mostly as a tool, in regions where it also has the highest security interests (Kartsonaki and Wolff, 2022). As a result, the EU’s aim in Europe is generally two fold: to defend its own security while also conveying a peaceful attitude and normative principles to others (Russia and Ukraine).
1.2 Statement of the problem
Since 2014, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which has periodically devolved into an armed war between Russia and Ukraine, has remained one of the most significant causes of stress in Europe, if not the whole globe NEU,(2022). The possibility of bringing Ukraine into NATO has been on the table in recent weeks, raising the potential of military confrontation and war (Poroshenko,2022). Assist. Prof. Dr. Erdi afak, a lecturer in the Near East University International Law Department and Deputy Director of the Near East Institute, said that the United Nations failed to be an effective actor in the crisis that began between the two countries and turned into a Russia-West showdown, and that this situation has heightened tensions even more (NEU,2022). Why is it that the UN is unable to take a more active role in this crisis? The answer to this issue derives from the fact that Russia, one of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, is at the core of the conflict, and the People’s Republic of China, another permanent member, has sided with Russia Tim,(2022). Because Russia and China have the authority to veto decisions made by the UN Security Council, the UN is unable to play a proactive role in this problem Tim,(2022). As a result, the researchers were compelled to investigate the role of mediation in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of the study is the role of mediation in the Russian-Ukraine conflict. The specific objective is as follows:
- To examine the reason for the Russian – Ukrainian conflict.
- To evaluate the role of the United Nations in the face of a crisis.
- To investigate the mediating role of the European Union in the Russian – Ukraine crisis.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
- What are the factors that led to the Russian- Ukrainian war
- What is the role of the United Nations in the face of a crisis?
- What is the mediating ?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study will examine the role of mediation in the Russian- Ukraine crisis, hence it will be significant to government and policy makers and expose them on how best to mediate during a crisis in other not to result into war.
The study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the role of mediation in the Russian- Ukrainian crisis.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study will examine the reason for the Russian – Ukrainian conflict. The study will also evaluate the role of the United Nations in the face of a crisis. Lastly, the study will investigate the mediating role of the European Union in the Russian – Ukraine crisis.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
1.8 Research Methodology
Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.
1.9 Organization of the study
The study consisted of five chapters. Chapter one comprised background of the study and a general introduction to the work. It included statement of problem of the study, highlighted the objectives of the study, the scope within which the research was conducted is also highlighted. An outline of how the work is organized is also detailed in the chapter one. The chapter two of the study reviewed the reason for the Russian – Ukrainian conflict. Chapter three discussed the role of the United Nations in the face of a crisis. Chapter four evaluate the mediating role of the European Union in the Russian – Ukraine crisis and the chapter five is a summary of the major findings with recommendations and conclusion to the study.