Membership in EU but not NATO - essentially a neutral Ukraine, backed by EU & Russia
The original Open Asia article is on archive.org : https://web.archive.org/web/20160125040849/http://openasia.asia/ukraine-as-a-solution-rethinking-living-with-russia-for-europe-1311
There is a comment under that archived article by Shiping Tang on June 26, 2014. It reads as follows:
As the author of this piece, I feel much sadness that my prediction (or warning) came to become reality, and even elites in Ukraine could not grasp the dire situation their country faced (before the war), until the wham on their face.
Here is John Mearsheimer’s reply after reading this piece. “Wow! This is a great piece, and to think you wrote it in 2009. It is so amazing that you could not get the piece published. That speaks volumes about the state of the discourse about foreign policy in the West.“
John and I do not agree with each other on many things, but this time, we agree with each other completely.
This article by Professor Shiping Tang (https://www.pekingnology.com/p/ukraine-as-a-solution-by-shiping) is an incredible document, especially considering the fact that it was written in 2009. Forewarned is forearmed if and only if one chooses to take the warning seriously. The European politicians did not and Ukraine population is paying the price
President Putin (whose doctoral dissertation was on the geostrategic application of natural resources) articulated two political objectives for the current military operation:
1. Keep Ukraine out of NATO [now a done deal, apparently]
2. Return NATO to its promised, 1997 borders.
This means that Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria and Ukraine will be NATO non-members and non-aligned.
Putin has the moral high ground: the USA (now weak compared to Russia) must keep the promises it made in 1989 when Russia was weak.