Or Things Could Get Worse, He Warned
In the first major push for negotiations from the West, veteran U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger says it’s time for the Ukraine to find common ground with Russia.
Kissinger said a crushing defeat of Russian forces in Ukraine could spell disaster for geopolitical stability.
A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi German with his family in 1938, Kissinger said the West should convince the Ukraine to enter into negotiations and give Russia territory, even if they fall short of current goals.
“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself,” said Kissinger.
In a speech before the World Economic Forum, he said Russia has been essential to the power structure of Europe for 400 years, supporting a balance of power at critical times. For instance, the defeat of Nazi Germany could not have happened as decisively without the Russian war machine.
He also warned that the conflict could push Russia into an unbreakable alliance with China.
“I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” he said.
As the same forum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a powerful video address, saying “this is the year when we learn whether brute force will rule the world”.
If the West’s goal is a stable Europe, according to Kissinger, then bludgeoning a bully to the point where they have nothing left but nuclear warheads might not be the best solution.
A counter-point to Kissinger:
The top-voted opinion (out of more than a thousand) on a news site pointed out that, “During or after failed wars, there is usually a revolution in Russia. After losing to Japan in 1904, there was the First Russian Revolution of 1905 which sparked some reforms but not the end of the Tsar. During WW1 there was the February, 1917 revolution … After the Afghan War, the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 … Now it’s Ukraine, and time for Putin to go. Kissinger should learn history. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”