Normally, diplomacy is meant as the set of rules and processes that preside over international relations to prevent or resolve disputes and conflicts, or even as a special skill in dealing with complex issues and finding compromises. If this is the case, one may be tempted to conclude that diplomacy has so far failed with respect to the year-long conflict in Ukraine. But perhaps it is worth analysing the issue more closely. It is hardly deniable that diplomacy failed in the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Diplomacy failed, the argument may go, because Americans and Europeans did not take Putin’s threats seriously; or because they did not propose to the President of the Russian Federation solutions that would have prevented the so-called special military operation. Looking more backwards, one could maintain that diplomacy failed because it was not capable (or willing) to involve more and better the Russian Federation in defining a shared post-cold war security architecture in Europe.
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