Henry Kissinger asks Ukraine to give up territory to Russia

Henry Kissinger, the polarizing 98-year-old former secretary of state who played a key role in settling America’s discordant relationship with the Soviet Union, has this advice for Ukraine: Surrender territory to make peace with Ukraine. Russia.

Talk via video link to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Kissinger said failure to restart talks with Russia and further alienation by the Kremlin would have serious long-term consequences. important to stability in Europe.

“Negotiations need to start in the next two months before it creates insurmountable upheavals and tensions,” he said. “Ideally, the dividing line should return to the status quo,” he added, seemingly referring to restoring Ukraine’s borders to what they were before the war began in February. “Pursuing war beyond that time will not be for Ukraine’s freedom, but a new war against Russia itself.”

Soon after Mr. Kissinger uttered those words, his statements sparked a backlash on social media and beyond. Many critics argue that the man famously preaching realism in international relations is suggesting something seriously unrealistic.

“It is regrettable that the former US secretary of state believes that giving up a piece of sovereign territory is a way to achieve peace for any country!” Inna Sovsun, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, wrote on Twitter.

Richard N. Haass, president of the influential Council on Foreign Relations, wrote on Twitter that Kissinger’s offer “will likely be rejected by Ukraine for asking it to give up too much and Putin for giving Russia. too little”.

Most Ukrainians also reject the idea. One poll published on Tuesday of the Kyiv Institute of Sociology found that 82% of Ukrainians said they did not want to cede territory to Russia.

During peace talks in March, Ukrainian officials said their country was ready to declare permanent neutrality – giving up the prospect of joining NATO, a key Russian demand – and discussed on Russia’s territorial claims. However, the issue of territorial concessions is extremely sensitive in Ukraine, with many Ukrainians adamant that the country should not concede territory or comply with Russia’s demands.

Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and for the past eight years Ukrainian forces have been fighting against Russian-backed separatists who control a large swath of the eastern Donbas region.

Mr. Kissinger, the supreme priest of realism, is no stranger to controversy. When he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his efforts to negotiate an end to the war in Vietnam, critics complained, pointing to the devastating US bombing campaign in Cambodia during his tenure. Two members of the Nobel committee resigned in protest.

Garry Kasparov, Russian chess grandmaster and political activist, wrote on Twitter Kissinger’s latest stance on Ukraine is not only immoral but “wrong many times over”.

Referring to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China, Mr. Kasparov added: “The concessions that great powers like Putin and Xi Jinping want are unsustainable because dictators are sure to definitely need conflict. This is not the Cold War. “

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