Cornell historian says Russia’s war on Ukraine could be a catalyst

Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky spoke to the U.S. Congress on March 16 in a direct appeal for help as Russia continues its bombardment.

Cristina Florea, assistant professor of history, studies Central and Eastern Europe and says the war might result in new forms of international cooperation.

Florea says: “In his speech, President Zelenskyy no longer insisted on Ukraine joining NATO, but pointed out what has been painfully obvious to many small states: namely, that the international institutions designed to protect their sovereignty and guarantee peace have repeatedly proved powerless and ineffective. The 20th century witnessed several attempts at reimagining forms of international cooperation and guaranteeing peace, from the League of Nations to the United Nations, to NATO, all of which have proved disappointing. Depending on how the world chooses to respond to Ukraine, this war might become the catalyst for new forms of international cooperation.”

For media inquiries contact Becka Bowyer, cell: (607) 220-4185,


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