Veteran US statesman Henry Kissinger has urged the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine, warning that it would have disastrous consequences for the long term stability of Europe.
“I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” Kissinger warned an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, adding with his famous sense of realpolitik that the proper role for the country is to be a neutral buffer state rather than the frontier of Europe.
As The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports, Kissinger's comments came amid growing signs that the Western coalition against Vladimir Putin is fraying badly as the food and energy crisis deepens, and that sanctions may have reached their limits.
The former US secretary of state and architect of the Cold War rapprochement between the US and China told the gathering of elites that it would be fatal for the West to get swept up in the mood of the moment and forget the proper place of Russia in the European balance of power.
“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,” he said.
The architect of the détente with China under the Nixon administration suggested that 'status quo' ante means "how things were before," implying that Ukraine should accept a peace deal to restore the situation on February 24, where Russia formally controlled the Crimea peninsula and informally controlled part of the Donetsk region in east Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin and Henry Kissinger shaking hands in 2007
The 98-year-old statesman is making no friends among the blue-check-mark brigade who seem to see only one path for humanity... and it ends in a mushroom cloud...
Henry Kissinger should give himself to the morgue. https://t.co/oVOSCWLerv— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 24, 2022
This is absurdly bad advice.— William Nee (@williamnee) May 24, 2022
"Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said Ukraine should accept giving up part of its territory to reach a peace deal with Russia, and end the now three-month-long war immediately."https://t.co/nOtCdRrqtb
However, one 'blue-check' appears to comprehend what Kissinger is saying - end this escalation now before it ends badly for all of us...
According to prevailing consensus, the US must indefinitely underwrite Ukraine's war effort, with no conditions, while incrementally scaling up the US's own direct military involvement. The same people who moaned about "perpetual war" now want to be fighting for Crimea in 2029— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 24, 2022
Kissinger appeared at a Financial Times conference over the weekend warning that "we are now living in a totally new era..."
The key exchange, expanding on his most recent comments regarding the West and Russia, was as follows:
Financial Times: The Biden administration is framing its grand geopolitical challenge as being democracy versus autocracy. I’m picking up an implicit hint that it's the wrong framing?
Henry Kissinger: We have to be conscious of the differences of ideology and of interpretation that exists. We should use this consciousness to apply it in our own analysis of the importance of issues as they arise, rather than make it the principal issue of confrontation, unless we are prepared to make regime change the principal goal of our policy. I think given the evolution of technology, and the enormous destructiveness of weapons that now exist, [seeking regime change] may be imposed on us by the hostility of others, but we should avoid generating it with our own attitudes.
We are now [faced] with technologies where the rapidity of exchange, the subtlety of the inventions, can produce levels of catastrophe that were not even imaginable.
But there’s almost no discussion internationally about what would happen if the weapons actually became used.
My appeal in general, on whatever side you are, is to understand that we are now living in a totally new era, and we have gotten away with neglecting that aspect.
Food for thought from someone who's been 'in the room'.