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Many uncertainties ahead

It is now a new situation in Ukraine and Europe that all relevant players have to deal with.

Russia created a fait accompli with the admission of the four Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. This move was widely expected, although Russia had not controlled these regions until now. The remarkable advances of Ukrainian troops in southern Ukraine could be the main reason for this move by Russia. 

 Ukrainian soldiers. Source: VNA/AFP

It was a decisive turning point in this war, but its fatality will mean many uncertainties ahead for Russia and Ukraine.

First, it would make diplomatic talks and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, directly or indirectly, to seek peaceful political solutions to end the war in Ukraine, for sustainable peace, security and stability to prevail in Europe, and to redefine relations between Russia and Ukraine as well as Russia and the rest of Europe, almost impossible. The reason is simply that from now on, Ukraine cannot, and Russia will not abandon this region. Russia will keep these new territories at any cost, and Ukraine will try by all means, whatever it takes, to get them back. To militarily escalate the war between them is already programmed.

Secondly, it created a new political, legal and geographical constellation in Europe and between Russia and Ukraine. After Russia considered these four regions as Russian territories, fears and concerns are rapidly increasing all over Europe about the possibility of using nuclear weapons in Russia in case Ukrainian military forces attack Russia in these four regions, especially after the Russian side has made it clear on more than one occasion that it would be ready to do so in this scenario. A nuclear war in Ukraine would mean doomsday for Europe.

Third, Russia put its relationship with the West on a new footing. The West must now, like it or not, be very careful and restrained in continuing to provide Ukraine with its weapons and military equipment. Russia would consider Ukraine's use of these weapons and equipment against Russia in Ukraine and attacking Russia in these four regions as two acts of a different nature. The West must always be cautious to avoid crossing a political, legal and military minefield in Ukraine.

Now it is a new situation in Ukraine and Europe that all relevant players have to deal with. The outcome of the current war in Ukraine now depends on how appropriately (for everyone) and successfully (for everyone) they try to deal with it. Therefore, the most certain now is that there are many uncertainties ahead.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.