Henry Kissinger pushed for peace talks to end Russia’s war in Ukraine in an article published Saturday, offering a framework for a possible ceasefire.
writing for The viewer, the former secretary of state suggested that Ukraine establish official ties with NATO, that Russia withdraw from territory it has gained since its invasion and that popular votes potentially decide the fate of territory occupied by Moscow before the war.
“I have repeatedly expressed my support for the Allied military effort to thwart Russia’s aggression in Ukraine,” Kissinger wrote. “But the time is coming to build on the strategic changes that have already been achieved and integrate them into a new structure to achieve peace through negotiation.”
Kissinger suggested in May that the two sides agree to a “dividing line” returning to the “status quo ante,” essentially asking Ukraine to cede territory, including the Crimean peninsula and parts of the Donetsk region, in exchange for peace.
In his article over the weekend, the 99-year-old diplomat suggests that control of those territories be decided after a ceasefire agreement.
“If the pre-war dividing line between Ukraine and Russia cannot be achieved through combat or negotiation, recourse to the principle of self-determination could be explored,” he wrote. “Internationally supervised referendums on self-determination could apply to particularly divisive territories that have changed hands repeatedly over the centuries.”
And he argues that Ukraine has established itself during the war as a “major state in Central Europe” with “one of the largest and most effective ground armies in Europe,” paving the way for its entry into Western security alliances.
“A peace process should link Ukraine to NATO, however it is phrased. The alternative of neutrality no longer makes sense, especially after Finland and Sweden joined NATO,” Kissinger writes.
Ukraine’s potential to join NATO was seen as a driving factor in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Kissinger’s suggestions earlier this year, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his office indicated it was not receptive to his more detailed proposal this week.
“All supporters of simple solutions should remember the obvious: any deal with the devil, a bad peace at the expense of the Ukrainian territories, will be a victory for Putin and a recipe for success for autocrats around the world,” the president said. Zelensky’s assistant, Mykhailo Podolyak. in telegram
Ukraine’s government has largely rejected any peace plan that includes concessions to Russia, insisting it will not cede any territory and will fight until Moscow’s troops are completely out of the country.
A Ukrainian diplomat told billionaire Elon Musk to “fuck off” in October after the SpaceX CEO proposed that Ukraine cede some territory and hold new elections in disputed regions to end the war with Russia. .
Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, angered Ukrainian officials last month when he suggested that Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson and the winter months could present “a window of opportunity for negotiation.”
Milley later sought to clarify his comments, saying that the United States “will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes to keep them free” and that it is up to Ukraine to decide when to negotiate.
However, the US reportedly encouraged Zelensky to signal his openness to talks with Russia to counter war fatigue among his international backers.