Islands of Agreement and Civility: Conflict Management in Russia's War against Ukraine

Creating ‘Islands of Agreement and Civility’ through Humanitarian Negotiations: A Conflict Management and Disaster-Mitigation Strategy in Russia’s War against Ukraine

Author: Cindy Wittke (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies)

This report focuses on humanitarian negotiations and the potential for creating ‘islands of civility’ or ‘islands of agreement’ as tools for conflict and disaster management in the protracted Russian war against Ukraine, and their significance for enabling complex multi-dimensional negotiations and settlements on the local, regional, and international levels.

Concepts of humanitarian negotiations, ‘islands of civility’ and ‘islands of agreement’, are tested and adapted by connecting them to five specific points of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan. Short-term advantages and long-term pitfalls of turning to a conflict management approach and subsequent temporary, issue-specific conflict management agreements are analysed. Recommendations are provided for third parties whose goals are to prevent processes of political and legal destabilization and fragmentation, and to sustain Ukraine’s statehood.