A solution to the current crisis centered on the agreed neutrality of Ukraine will serve the United States’ main goals, and Ukraine's and Russia's as well.

  1. The U.S.-NATO-Russia-Ukraine crisis could be resolved by a grand bargain among the parties that defines Ukraine as a neutral state.

  2. Neutrality deals worked well in the past to forestall Franco-British conflict over Belgium in the 1830s and East-West conflict over Finland and Austria in the Cold War.

  3. The Belgian, Finnish, and Austrian neutrality deals enhanced the security of the states they made neutral. Neutrality was an asset for Belgium, Finland, and Austria, not a handicap.

  4. Major powers never calmly accept the close approach to their borders of unfriendly powers or alliances. Russia is no exception. It will not accept a settlement that leaves open the possibility of Ukraine in NATO or NATO in Ukraine. Hence, a neutrality solution is both sufficient and necessary to resolve the current crisis.

  5. Ukraine is not worth a costly confrontation for the U.S. Hence, U.S. leaders should be open to compromise. If compromise proves elusive, the U.S. should not pay high costs or run large risks to impose a deal on its terms, as it has higher priorities at home and elsewhere.

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