Wolfgang Ischinger proposed that work to thrash out a peace initiative could be done through a contact group
Former Munich Security Conference chair Wolfgang Ischinger. © Andreas Gebert/picture alliance via Getty Images
Wolfgang Ischinger, the former chairman of the Munich Security Conference, has argued that an international contact group should be set up with a view to resolving the Ukraine crisis, with the US, the UK, France and Germany making up its core. Now is the time to start a serious conversation about ways to secure peace, he wrote in an op-ed for Germany’s Der Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday.
Ischinger, who presided over the annual security convention from 2008 until 2022, opined that “it is high time that we put in motion a peace process for Ukraine.” He acknowledged that critical voices in the West are posing questions that are not “completely unjustified,” such as how much longer governments are planning to pump the Eastern European country with weapons.
With this in mind, the veteran German diplomat called for the “immediate” creation of a special contact group that would function alongside the existing Ramstein Air Base group, which helps coordinate defense aid to Ukraine.
Such a congregation of world powers, according to Ischinger, should be given a mandate to thrash out multiple settlement scenarios and options, as well as to prepare draft agreements so that, if and when Kiev and Moscow decide to sit down at the negotiating table, there is already some groundwork in place for a peace process.