Opinion, A Proposal to Neutralize Putin

What would happen if the free nations of the world all agreed to declare Vladimir Putin as PERSONA NON GRATA?

It’s one of the oldest tools in the diplomatic play book. It’s strength is that it is the ultimate rejection of a human being! As well, it costs nothing to deliver, takes no lives and destroys no property.

The term literally means “an unwelcome person.” It is a legal term used in diplomacy that forbids a foreign person entering or remaining in the country. It is the most damning form of a censure that one country can apply, without having to explain its decision to foreign diplomats, otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution.

The formal steps were laid down in the Vienna convention of 1961, signed by an impressive191 countries.

In the 2000s, PNG was declared by a nation 16 times, in the 2010s, 45 times and to date in the 2020s, 12 times.

Compared to the sanctions imposed by the West, those traditional tools of international relations do not carry the psychological punch of personal rejection that a PNG delivers directly to a personʼs identity.

As for the United Nations, it appears to be suffering from organizational impotence, as the Security Council is seemingly paralyzed by its own
veto protocols.

In this scenario, once the global condemnation was underway, the country count would probably start slowly with 5,10, 20, 40 countries declaring him PNG.
At first, Putin would try to dismiss it. But as the count continued to climb 50, 80, 110, 150, up to the 191 countries who signed the Vienna Convention of 1961, the impact around the world would be undeniable, because, for the first time in history, the citizens of the free‒speaking world would be speaking with one global voice of publicly rejecting one person – a Russian war criminal.

And while PNG is typically a diplomatic tool, there is no monopoly on its use. Anyone or any organization can declare a person PNG. As a result, this campaign to neutralize Putin does not have to rely on governments doing the heavy lifting. It is open season for any organization from schools to universities to banks to community service clubs to churches to sports clubs. They and their members can all declare Vladimir Putin PERSONA NON GRATA.

The news and social media will follow it as a top story. As a result, the high number of PNG declarations would eventually penetrate the fake-news curtain Putin has raised around the truth inside Russia.

Before long, his own people would be so embarrassed by the near total rejection of their leader, they would seriously seek his replacement. Worse, they would all realize they couldnʼt go anywhere on vacation, because their president had made sure they would not be welcome anywhere! Well, maybe China and North Korea would welcome them.

In the end, the degenerate Putin would have been felled by a weapon of peace that he had never contemplated: monstrous public rejection.

The moment is nigh for the free world to exercise its most civilized weapon!

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