Guest Column by Henry Kissinger
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
Henry A Kissinger
Strategic Culture Foundation
Kissinger: Ukraine should forget about Crimea and NATO membership
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger spoke about global threats, the secession of Crimea and Ukraine’s NATO accession.
Mr. Kissinger said that there currently is an urgent need for a new world order, but its coming into being will be long and complicated. “There are no universally accepted rules,” said Mr. Kissinger in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. “There is the Chinese view, the Islamic view, the Western view and, to some extent, the Russian view. And they really are not always compatible.”
Speaking of Crimea’s accession to Russia, he noted that this is a special case, as Ukraine and Russia were one country for a long time. In his view, the West must recognize its mistakes. “Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine’s economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev,” said Mr. Kissinger. “All these, and their impact, should have been the subject of a dialogue with Russia.”
He is sure that Ukraine has always had a special significance for Russia. Failure to understand this was fatal, and the Ukrainian authorities can forget about the Crimean peninsula. “Nobody in the West has offered a concrete program to restore Crimea,” said Mr. Kissinger. “Nobody is willing to fight over eastern Ukraine.” In his opinion, introducing anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake.
“We have to remember that Russia is an important part of the international system, and therefore useful in solving all sorts of other crises, for example in the agreement on nuclear proliferation with Iran or over Syria,” Mr. Kissinger said. “This has to have preference over a tactical escalation in a specific case.” He added that Ukraine should not hope to become a member of NATO in the foreseeable future, as the alliance will never vote unanimously for the accession of Ukraine.
Footnote: neoconservative, esp. in advocating democratic capitalism.