Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, observed on Monday that Ukraine must compromise its territorial integrity in order to achieve peace. Kissinger made these remarks while addressing a conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He further suggested that the West must not seek an embarrassing defeat for Russia in Ukraine as it would threaten the long-term stability of Europe. He urged the Western countries to keep in view Russia’s importance to Europe and not get swept up “in the mood of the moment”. He underpinned the importance of Russia in Europe’s stability by highlighting Russia’s role of balancing power in critical times for the continent.
Henry Kissinger said Ukraine should grant territorial concessions to Russia to reach a peace deal and end the war that has been raging for more than three months now. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” he said. He further stated that inability to restart peace talks with Russia could adversely affect Europe’s stability in the long-term.
“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.” Kissinger warned that pushing further with sanctions or military might would risk sparking an all-out war with Russia.
Russia launched the offensive against Ukraine of 24th February, 2022, in a bid to demilitarize it and rid it of western influence. Russia cited strategic defense interests as the motive behind the invasion. Ukraine had been allegedly cozying up to the western rivals of Russia and seeking membership of NATO which is essentially an anti-Russia military alliance.
“As NATO expands to the east, with every passing year, the situation for our country is getting worse and more dangerous. Moreover, in recent days the leadership of NATO has been openly talking about the need to speed up, force the advancement of the alliance’s infrastructure to the borders of Russia. In other words, they are doubling down on their position. We can no longer just watch what is happening. It would be absolutely irresponsible on our part.”—President Vladimir Putin had said while announcing a “special military operation” against Ukraine.
Many analysts believe that Russia had not expected the resistance that Ukraine was able to put up with the help of the West in the form of arms supply worth billions of dollars. The war has now entered fourth month; which experts believe is against anticipation of Russia. It has emerged to be one of the most global, deadliest and devastating conflicts of the twenty-first century with far-reaching implications for the whole world.
It has been the center of attention in many capitals of the world and governments and experts have been closely observing the conflict long before its formal initiation.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has also been closely observing the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He is regarded as one of the most seasoned diplomats of all time. His viewpoints are considered authoritative in the realm of international relations. He is a proponent of realpolitik and his ideas and suggestions are realistic. For his realist viewpoints, he often faces criticism. Similar was the case this time too, as his remarks invited negative feedback from Inna Sovsun, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, who denounced Kissinger’s position as “truly shameful!”. “It’s a pity that the former US Secretary of State believes that giving up on part of the sovereign territory is a way to peace for any country!” Sovsun tweeted.
Kissinger in Davos said that #Ukraine should cede part of its territory in exchange for peace.
It's a pity that the former US Secretary of State believes that giving up on part of the sovereign territory is a way to peace for any country! Truly shameful!
— Inna Sovsun (@InnaSovsun) May 24, 2022