By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News – May 25, 2022

Former U.S. Secretary of State and influent expert in international relations Henry Kissinger said Tuesday at Davos that Ukraine should make concessions to end the conflict with Russia and avoid a full-scale war with the geopolitical giant that Kyiv won’t be able to win.

Speaking at a conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Henry Kissinger, 98 years old, urged the United States and the West to not seek an embarrassing defeat for Russia in Ukraine, warning it could worsen Europe’s long-term stability.

The former National Security Advisor of U.S. President Richard Nixon and then Secretary of State called for an end to attempts to “inflict a crushing defeat” on Russian troops in Ukraine, as it would leave no exit for Putin. He also said that Western countries should put pressure on Ukraine to resume peace talks before the current state of affairs causes insurmountable upheavals.

Kissinger pushed Western powers to use negotiation to draw the conflict to an end, warning against any further military escalation.

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,” Kissinger said, according to multiple reports.

Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.”

Kissinger warned his audience that pushing further with embargoes or military might would risk sparking an all-out war with Russia. He stated that Russia had been an integral part of Europe for 400 years and at critical moments acted as the guarantor of the European balance of power. Therefore, according to him, one should not lose sight of the long-term relationship with Moscow and push Russia towards an alliance with China.

Kissinger added that the idea of ​​a “neutral” Ukraine as a bridge between East and West had failed. According to him, after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on February 24, this became impossible.

On May 17, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the Ukrainian President, announced that the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv had been suspended at the initiative of the Ukrainian side. According to him, the Russian Federation “does not understand” that the hostilities are going “not according to the rules and plans of Russia” and that Ukraine’s resistance is growing. He said that when negotiations resume, they will be moderated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

Kissinger’s comments follow a recent editorial from the New York Times’s editorial board that argued Ukraine would have to make “painful territorial decisions” to achieve peace, reported the Washington Post.

Read also : How will Russia respond to Western sanctions ?

In Richard Nixon’s team, Henry Kissinger developed the policy of detente with the Soviet Union. Kissinger thus negotiated the SALT I treaty with Moscow, an agreement limiting the number of nuclear weapons of the two superpowers. Similarly, in June and October 1971, for the first time, Kissigner secretly came into contact with Communist China with the complicity of the President of Pakistan Yahya Khan who allowed Kissinger’s plane to fly for Beijing from Islamabad. Then Kissinger accompanied U.S. President Nixon on his official visit in China (the first by an American president) in 1972 . 

In 1973, Kissinger played an important role in ending the Yom Kippur War by brokering the ceasefire between Israel and Egypt.

In the morning of February 24, Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine, with the official goal to “demilitarize Ukraine”, remove the Ukrainian government headed by the President Volodymyr Zelensky and protect the rights of Russians living in Donbass, Eastern Ukraine, a region hit by the war since 2014. In a televised address to Russian citizens, President Vladimir Putin stated that circumstances “require decisive and immediate action from us, the people’s republics of Donbass  have asked for help.” 

The Kremlin continues voicing that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. The Russian goals would be “demilitarization and denazification” of the country. Moscow also wants Ukraine to return to its neutral status, which was enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution until 2014 and to offer guarantee of not holding on its territory nuclear weapons.

Ukraine and its Western partners sees the Russian military operation as an invasion and imposed strong strong sanctions against Russian state officials, banks, companies and oligarchs, to put pressure on the Russian government and lead it to a ceasefire and a withdrawal from Ukraine.

After the Russian recognition of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk on February 21 and the entry of Russian troops in the Ukrainian territory in early morning on February 24, the United States and European countries have imposed massive sanctions against Russian state-owned banks, banned technology exports to Russia, denied access to Russia to the U.S. financial market, SWIFT and imposed individual sanctions on Russian officials and their relatives. The European Union has even taken sanctions against the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov.

Every week since February 24 the United States and its Allies have jointly taken restrictive measures against Russian banks and companies, individuals, the central bank of Russia and banned the import of several Russian goods and services. On March 8, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States.

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