99-year old Henry Kissinger has raised eyebrows among the Washington establishment which has long revered him, this time once again with some unexpected commentary on the Ukraine war.
He said in a fresh interview with CBS News' Ted Koppel which aired Sunday that he sees China has being a positive force for bringing peace between Russia and Ukraine. "Now that China has entered the negotiation, it will come to a head, I think, by the end of the year," the former Secretary of State said. "We will be talking about negotiating processes and even actual negotiations."
Newsweek summarized some of the remarks by saying "he believes the Russia-Ukraine war is coming to a turning point and expects negotiations by the end of the year thanks to recent efforts made by China."
This is in reference to China's 12-point peace plan, as well as the fact that President Xi Jinping joined Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a one-hour phone call in April. This after Xi's trip to Moscow where he met with Putin.
Also interesting is that the elderly diplomat offered his services:
Kissinger also told Koppel that he believes both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin would speak with him if he telephoned them.
When asked by Koppel if he would meet with Putin in Moscow if asked to do so by a president, the retired diplomat said: "I would be inclined to do it, yes. But I would be an adviser, not an active person."
Both Ukraine and the US have on different occasions rebuffed China's plan. In March Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba described it as a ploy to allow Moscow time to strengthen its forces.
Interestingly, Chinese state media has picked up on Kissinger's prediction and is actively promoting it:
Now that China has entered the negotiation, it will come to a head. I think, by the end of the year, we will be talking about negotiating processes and even actual negotiations: former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger talked about the Russia-Ukraine conflict in an interview… pic.twitter.com/kh2KMYsOnW— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 8, 2023
"Ill-advised concessions to the aggressor would only encourage Russia to intensify its attacks on democracy, giving it time to rebuild its military capabilities and resume the armed offensive against Ukraine," Kuleba said at the time.
But the longer the planned-for Ukrainian counteroffensive stalls, the more there may be an opening for the start of negotiations. There's speculation that even Washington might finally push Kiev to be more willing to negotiate if its battlefield losses are sustained, particularly as Russia now controls at 90 or 95% of Bakhmut.