Today a new attempt is being made to find a solution to solve the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Volodymyr Selenskyj, the new president of Ukraine, meets Vladimir Putin for the first time. Selenskyi is regarded as inexperienced when it comes to negotiation techniques, while as his counterpart Putin is an absolute professional who can play the entire keyboard of a negotiation. Former President Poroshenko has already warned Selenskyi not to go into a 4-eyed conversation with Putin: "I would avoid a one-on-one meeting with Putin, or if that is impossible, I would not indulge in his manipulations and flatteries.”
From a technical negotiating point of view, a 4-eye conversation is important and probably also necessary. A one-on-one meeting can probe and test a possibility for conflict resolution.
Negotiation tips for Wolodymyr Selenskyj:
1. avoid early decisions in public
2. emphasize similarities, don`t talk about the past
3. enter the negotiation with a 3-point plan
a. What can be solved now? - e.g. unbundling of troops and withdrawal of own troops
b. What can be solved soon? - e.g. timetable for a peace solution
c. What is not solvable? - e.g. ideological topics
4. propose a 4-eyes dialogue if there is no movement in the negotiations