How long does it take for the warring parties to hear each other?

Negotiator and mediator, head of the practice of alternative dispute resolution at NOBILI Law Firm Vadim Rakhlis


How long does it take for the warring parties to hear each other?

I would like to start a series of publications about the School of Crisis Negotiation, which has recently been launched! And the first thing I would like to write about is the most important issue: Achievement of peace in the country! And the first thing that needs to be done to stop the war is to admit that it exists, that is, there is aggression on the part of Russia!

Remember Steiner Brin, who ruled the conflict in post-Soviet Yugoslavia for 5 years! So we have one strategy with him! I came to this strategy through many years of negotiation and a written thesis and a tutorial that just came out! How long does it take for the warring parties to hear each other? I realized long ago what long stages can be passed before a possible moment of reconciliation.

The first is the understanding of one of the parties that dialogue is necessary.

The second is the desire and internal readiness to enter into communication. The third is finding the courage to make an offer to the other side to enter into a dialogue.

Fourth – the stage of each side expressing its position, a kind of debate that more closely resembles monologues.

Fifth – coming to the conclusion that not only my truth is the truth. Cope with your bitterness and tragedy, living through hatred and resentment towards the world around you. To hear that I am not the only victim. Admit that the enemy has suffered too. And this is our similarity.

Sixth – the stage of asking questions. Interested in hearing an answer, not suggesting your own.

Seventh – exchange of views and dialogue. During discussions and meetings with various government officials, I tried to convey this strategy and they heard these stages. Someone definitely said that even in their thoughts they did not see the possibility of conducting a dialogue. Someone, about their unwillingness to sit down at the negotiating table. Someone, forgetting about dialogue as a means of communication, talked about their truth. But there were also those who already have peacekeeping experience and offer concrete ways of integration. For example, Alexander Kudinov and others.

We have Negotiators who are ready to lend a helping hand and support, and it is important to see them and accept this help not for money and glory, but for the honor of the country! It can take years to complete all stages. Steinar, who spent five years negotiating with each of them about a second offer to meet. Think about it, 5 years! Just get together and have a meeting. Do we have our own Steinars Brins in our society? I answer, there are people who, not accepting the position of either side, will carry out a long mission aimed at reconciliation! I really hope that statesmen will hear us, because precious time is running out, the escalation of the conflict continues, and our inaction will lead to the fact that we will have to spend tens of times more time on rapprochement.

In the meantime, I still and again make it clear an important point. Teaching dialogue skills, talking more about dialogue, developing respect for communication, teaching mediation and negotiation skills, learning to be mediators – these are the areas that should be paid attention to now in our common one Ukraine. Therefore, I am engaged not only with the National Police and business, but also with children’s groups of negotiators and families. How to do the impossible: bring peace back to Ukraine? According to Kravchuk and others. Our leaders! True, this requires a dialogue army and one new generation.