Are Romania and Ukraine enemies

Ukraine, Russia, Europe

In the Ukraine conflict, those involved think and act past one another: From a Western perspective, the Russian annexation of Crimea and the military support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine violate international law; Now pressure must be put on Russia to prevent it from further attacks against Ukraine or other neighboring countries. From the Russian point of view, however, the conflict results from the expansion of NATO and the illegitimate dismissal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych; Russia only protects Russian citizens in Crimea and Donbass.

Both ways of thinking appear to be coherent in themselves; however, they do not clearly relate to each other, but discredit each other subliminally - a constellation that promotes friend-foe patterns and violence. There are different political logics behind this. In the following I present basic logic of this kind and then examine what role they play in the Ukraine conflict. This leads to conclusions for dealing with the conflict.

Logic of war

The logic of war is that of friend and foe. Fight accordingly we (Friend) against the existentially threatening enemy. Turning this off by any means is not only legitimate, but advisable. This makes what is otherwise forbidden: killing people. Not only is a real attack by the enemy registered as threatening; rather, every action of the other appears as a potential means of waging war, as a possible deception or covert attack. Threat scenarios, déjà-vus of earlier historical events and the associated fears thus become the focus of the experience.

According to the logic of war, according to which every action of the enemy must be answered hostile, a momentum of annihilation and self-annihilation develops. In the process, even civil patterns of orientation, such as the search for truth and understanding, lose their value, and, interpreted according to friend-foe criteria, can even become dangerous. In view of this, Carl von Clausewitz's sentence "The war is a mere continuation of politics by other means" turns out to be trivializing. [1] If politics uses war, it is rather determined by the logic of the war itself, and loses its special identity and its special potential for impact. General suffering and death are programmed with it; and the general prosperity also falls - in contrast to an opinion that has been circulated again and again - with the prevailing logic of annihilation and self-annihilation.

Logic of power

Power is considered the ability to act. It forms a special form of relationship: the ability to assert one's own will against resistance. [2] If politics is conceived in this sense, the logic of power emerges: Political action presupposes power. In politics, everything revolves around gaining, holding and expanding power. Those who have no power have to subordinate themselves to it, adapt or flee.

This logic seems to be universal and pervasive. It is realized in a variety of media: physical and military violence, personal charisma with potentials such as acting or speaking skills, economic power, information and organizational power, network power, religious belief power, ideological power and political-state power to set norms. Religion is therefore only possible as a ruling or suppressed religion, culture as the culture of ruling values ​​and lifestyles, and the ruling law as the law of the rulers. [3]

However, power comes up against limits through a lack of interest, but above all through countervailing power. As a result, power-conscious actors try to secure the broadest and most emphatic support possible, but above all to eliminate competing rulers and to prevent the emergence of countervailing power. Since the use of force is a regular means here, the logic of power leads to the logic of war.

Logic of interests

Actors can also refer to other actors in a more differentiated manner than according to friend-foe patterns or aspects of power. Graduated relationships up to and including no ties are possible; Above all, however, communication can take place in different dimensions, such as the relationship and the factual dimension.

If actors pursue their goals relatively soberly and flexibly in all these contexts, we speak of interest politics. In doing so, interests are pursued in each specific action situation and are therefore situational in character. However, characteristic types of interest can be identified, such as - mostly openly contested - factual interests and - often covertly pursued - positional interests (in being involved in the respective process). The logic of interest politics can be interpreted as disloyal and opportunistic or as comparatively independent and differentiated.

Negotiating is of particular importance for safeguarding interests. The parties involved try to achieve the greatest possible advantages for themselves through offers and threats to the negotiating partner. However, since they are dependent on the consent or an optimal exchange offer from the other party, a contradicting offer and review process results. At the same time, the participants are looking for a mutually acceptable conclusion and their individual greatest possible advantage. In the event of unequal bargaining power, however, this negotiation can also merge into the logic of power politics, in which the stronger simply prevails.