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Why Washington And Moscow Keep Talking Past Each Other (No Easy Solution To Ukraine Conflict Alert)
Washington Post ^ | 03/12/2014 | Richard Maass

Posted on 03/12/2014 8:22:18 PM PDT by goldstategop

Why do Washington and Moscow keep talking past each other? Prospect theory offers a plausible explanation. At its core, prospect theory argues that people are willing to take greater risks to avoid losses than they are to achieve gains. Instead of making decisions that maximize their overall expected utility, people focus on a particular reference point and give more weight to losses from that reference point than comparable gains.


This explains why the United States and Russia keep talking past each other: U.S. leaders have ‘renormalized’ their reference point after the Maidan revolution, accepting the West-leaning interim Ukrainian government as a legitimate foundation for any resolution to the crisis. In contrast, the reference point of Russian leaders continues to be the pre-Maidan status quo, as they seek to recover their lost influence in Ukraine or achieve compensating territorial gains. As a result, the United States is focusing on rolling back Russian “aggression” in Crimea, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov objects to U.S. proposals because they take “the situation created by the coup as a starting point.” If U.S. and Russian leaders are bringing contradictory perspectives to their attempts at negotiation, as prospect theory predicts, it is difficult to envision a diplomatic resolution to the crisis that will satisfy both sides.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: crimea; nationalinterest; prospecttheory; richardmaass; russia; ukraine; ukrainecrisis; washingtonpost
Basically, prospect theory says the winner wants to keep their new-found gains. The loser wants to undo or minimize the winner's gains to protect their interests.

Applied to the Ukrainian crisis, America wants to keep Kiev's new pro-Western regime in power and keep the country united. America is playing with its strong suit in the deck, the new status quo.

On the other hand, Russia wants to weaken or destabilize the new pro-Western in Kiev and at a minimum get territorial compensation (in the form of Crimea joining the Russian Federation) if it can't restore a Moscow-friendly Ukrainian government as the status quo ante. Washington wants to rub its triumph in Ukraine in Moscow's face, Moscow seeks to avert humiliation and the loss of prestige.

These calculations are driving the positions, strategies and tactics of the two great powers and with the passage of time, prospect theory holds the differences between them are going to grow only wider and not narrower.

Basically put, what Washington and Moscow each want appears to be irreconcilable. And that is exactly why no one should expect an easy solution to the conflict in Ukraine brewing between them that would satisfy both sides to emerge in the foreseeable future.

1 posted on 03/12/2014 8:22:19 PM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop

Ukraine will be relegated to be a landlocked Country, and mainly used to safely transport Oil and Gas out of Russia.

Russia has a long history of feeling secure when it has friendly or neutral Nations on its periphery.

Ukraine has had the misfortune of a corrupt President who robbed them into poverty.

While Obamanation is descending, Russia is ascending: Russia is now free to do what is best for Russia.

A Neutral Ukraine would reduce risk to the Oil and Gas pipelines that are used by Russia in Ukraine.

Ukraine could then become the Switzerland of the Eastern Front for Europe.

2 posted on 03/12/2014 8:27:58 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: goldstategop

Both communists, each trying to scam the other. One is a pansy.

3 posted on 03/12/2014 8:49:23 PM PDT by MtnClimber (Liberals - wrong is right, down is up, gulags are utopia.)
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To: Graewoulf

No, the Ukraine will not be a landlocked country at all. Odessa is the largest seaport, the third largest city of the Ukraine, and it will remain Ukrainian. Kherson is at the mouth of the Dneipper, which drains most of the Ukraine, plus Belarus and much of the rest of Eastern Europe. Mykolaiv is also a major, national port and home to three shipyards.

4 posted on 03/12/2014 8:59:52 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

Surely in the next few months, (before Obama is Impeached), there is bound to be a “civil disturbance” in Odessa, Ukraine that will spread all along the Black Sea coastline of Ukraine- - - .

5 posted on 03/12/2014 9:07:35 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Graewoulf

Surely not.

Whereas the Crimea has been Russian for 400 years, Odessa was part of the anti-communist Ukrainian Republic (c. 1920), independent from Russia, and was badly hit by the Russian-induced famines (c.1930) when it was forcibly subsumed. Contrarily, Crimea was Russian through it all. So the difference between Crimea and Odessa is like the difference between German and German Jew.

Yes, Yanokovich won Odessa. But then, there’s a reason he feigned support for the European Union and opposition to the Eurasian Union. If Russia were to take more than Crimea and take that which was historically the Ukraine, he’d be much more likely to take Donetsk and Luhansk, two pro-Russian oblasts directly bordering Russia, that (unlike Odessa) are majority-Russian, not just largely Russian-speaking.

6 posted on 03/12/2014 10:16:46 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Graewoulf

We had a chance to play in this neighborhood, and the Community Organizing Man Child blew it. Right from the beginning he withdrew from Poland and another country (can’t remember now) where Bush had promised to protect.

Ukraine is in Russia’s neighborhood...Russia knows it better, knows the people and geography better...and, well, is going to have the upper hand.

Obama THINKS this new government is pro-Western. Well, maybe.

If they’re smart, they won’t be pro-USA until Obama is gone and replaced with a conservative. He is as reliable as a rubber crutch as an ally. Ask: Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Brazil, Japan, Haiti, Germany, Taiwan, any other given nation....

7 posted on 03/13/2014 2:12:04 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: goldstategop

None of our business.

Thw whole damned area is not worth one drop of blood or one taxpayer cent.

8 posted on 03/13/2014 10:27:28 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: dangus

You can’t say that the famine was Russian induced, as it hit Russia too and was orchestrated by an anti-Russian communist government where the top leaders were not ethnic Russians and under which ethnic Russians were discriminated against in government jobs and university admissions, if they were from other than peasant origins. No such barriers existed for non-Russians, no matter how wealthy their families were.

It wasn’t until WWII, when the Georgian Stalin needed Russians to fight for the USSR that the anti-Russian discrimination was stopped and the government embraced Russian patriotism, which previously had been seen as an automatic sign of counter-revolutionary sympathies.

A comparable situation would be if people in China 75 years from now were blaming Southern Baptists for something Obama did.

9 posted on 03/13/2014 10:40:52 AM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: MtnClimber

10 posted on 03/13/2014 10:48:13 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Monmouth78

I did not mean “Russian” as an ethnic term. Non-slavs within Russia are still Russians. The Ukrainians and the Russians are both predominantly Eastern Slavs.

By “Russian,” I meant the Russian Empire, which became the Soviet Union with the absorption of the Ukraine and the Caucasian States. The Ukraine and the Caucasian states broke away during the aftermath of the October Revolution.

The famine in the Ukraine absolutely induced by the Soviet Government, and it was so incredibly deadly within the Ukraine because of deliberate Soviet policies aimed at devastating the Ukranian people, yes, including those who spoke Russian in Odessa. The famine also hit the Caucasian states hard.

11 posted on 03/13/2014 12:12:24 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

In case, say the USSR. Saying “Russia” in that context is misleading and defamatory.

12 posted on 03/13/2014 4:33:02 PM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: goldstategop
Basically, prospect theory says the winner wants to keep their new-found gains. The loser wants to...

Ukraine has far less to do with an academic theory of gains vs losses.

Chiefly, it has to do with a nation with ambitions and an aggressive leader vs a nation in withdrawal from the world and an ineffectual leader.

The one IS going to take advantage of the other. Would anybody expect otherwise?

13 posted on 03/13/2014 4:56:59 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Monmouth78

The Ukraine was also USSR. I meant Russia, and Russia is accurate. If you want to absolve slavs of the horrific crimes of Russia for some reason, i don’t care, because I didn’t say Slavs. But whereas Stalin was a Georgian, Lenin, Rykov (Stalin’s #2), Molotov (Chairman of CPC, who banned any food to Ukraine and who succeeded Stalin), Kezhentsev (Sec of CPC), Milyutin (Commissar of Ag), Teodorovic (Comm of Food), Krylenko (Commisar of Justice) and nearly all of the commissars were Russian SFSR Slavs.

As summarized by a report by the leaders of the Ukranian Famine Commission (based at the U of Chicago, keeping it out of politicization in the Ukraine), “For Russian Bolsheviks, Ukrainian ethno-cultural self-assertion was a threat to both the primacy of Russian culture in
Soviet affairs, and to the centralization of all authority...”

14 posted on 03/13/2014 9:26:32 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

Lenin was Russian? Are you serious? He was maybe 1/4 Russian.

The reality is that the Bolshevik party was like Democratic party today, largely composed of aggrieved minorities.

Russians were singled out for discrimination and blamed for everything, like whites are in America today.

I never said the world “slav,” so what on earth are you talking about?

15 posted on 03/14/2014 3:44:30 PM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: Monmouth78

Slavs are the ethnic group of the majority of Russians. My only guess as to how one could possibly a Russian, “not Russian” was to suppose that by “Russian,” you meant the Russian Slavs. Lenin, however, was the Russian son of Russians, who were Russian-Orthodox, Russian-speaking, Russians from the heart of Russia, not “Inorodsty.”

Lenin initially sought to create multiple distinct nationalities for the non-Slavic Inorodsty. But by 1930, until the 1960s, the official policy was Russification: the promotion of Russian Slavic culture as superior. (Ironically, Stalin was the one key player who was NOT Slavic.)

16 posted on 03/14/2014 6:03:00 PM PDT by dangus
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To: MtnClimber
Both communists, each trying to scam the other. One is a pansy.

LOL - now that's funny...

17 posted on 03/16/2014 6:16:15 PM PDT by GOPJ (From a bellwether to an "oh-whateverrrr" in less than a single news cycle. -freeper Fightin Whitey)
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