A year ago I made the suggestion that Russia trade the territories it has effectively annexed since the break-up of the USSR, in exchange for Iran, which would become a voting democracy inside of Russia. People probably figured that I was just being a smart ass. But hundreds of years ago, much of Europe would trade territories as if they were just rental properties. Looking back at the history of Germany, it isn't just what monarch owned what territory, but what moment in time you're speaking of.
Trading territories: easier said than done. I know.
Iran was being a hard ass a year ago, as they still are. The problem with a new revolution in Iran is mostly a matter of what comes afterwards. The majority of the Iranian people would accept almost anything in preference to the crazies who are ruling them now. Recently Afghanistan has shown that a revolution can wind down quickly, if the majority of the people really want this to happen.
Coordination and differences in international relations are largely a matter of what is done, and how it is done.
When Russia was part of the USSR, the Crimea was given from Russia to Ukraine. At the time, it wasn't much more than being interesting just to Soviet bureaucrats, who had to shuffle around the bureaucracy. Who would have thought that Russia and Ukraine wouldn't always be part of the same country?
So while I sympathize with Putin grabbing back the Crimea to become part of Russia again, I am completely against the way he did it. Shouldn't Ukraine have a say in the matter? And there have been mass migrations of people within the old USSR since the country was formed a century ago.
Now is the time to stop a few wars before they start. First negotiate the what: what boundaries should be, and which country gets a sphere of influence where. Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin negotiated this between themselves in the later stages of World War II. But neither side was particularly keen on following the plan.
Then negotiate the how: how to implement. Churchill and Stalin didn't negotiate this. (This would have been almost impossible to do while World War II was still raging.) What mechanism do you use to implement policies? What is the role of organizations such as NATO? While the Soviet Warsaw Pact has disappeared, a newer post-Soviet organization was just called up to fight in Kazakhstan.
Since Russia, Europe, and America will soon be meeting to discuss issues such as Ukraine, let's get the bigger issues sorted so that everyone can try to live in peace.