Ukraine Does Not Like Kissinger's Advice

The former secretary of state said Ukraine needs to cede land to Russia
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2022 12:44 PM CDT
Ukraine to Kissinger: You're Wrong
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.   (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

Henry Kissinger thinks Ukraine should cede land to Russia to end the war, but a Ukrainian official suggests the 98-year-old former diplomat is living in the wrong century. "I think Mr. Kissinger still lives in the 20th century and we are in the 21st century, and we are not going to give up any inch of our territory," Ukrainian parliament member Oleksiy Goncharenko tells CNBC. "That would be the worst signal to Putin." Goncharenko added that "we should stop Putin now and not let him go further," saying he believes the fastest way to peace is to bring Ukraine into the EU. Dutch PM Mark Rutte tells CNBC "it's almost impossible to say that you disagree with Henry Kissinger," but this was an exception.

Kissinger is known as an advocate of realpolitik, which favors practical solutions over moral and ideological considerations. Per the Telegraph, the former US secretary of state spoke Monday in Davos at the World Economic Forum, where war in Ukraine was on everyone's mind. "Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome," Kissinger said. "Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante.” That is, Ukraine should advance a peace deal that returns things to the way they were before February 24 and be prepared to make additional concessions.

According to the Washington Post, recent polling in unoccupied territories shows 82% of Ukrainians "are not prepared to give up any of Ukraine's land, even if it means the war will drag on." However, Kissinger's comments are in keeping with the New York Times editorial board, which suggested last week that Ukraine might have to make "painful territorial decisions" to end the war. Newsweek says Kissinger has also found "rare common ground" with old left-wing nemesis Noam Chomsky, who thinks a "pretty sensible settlement" would be for Ukraine to make accommodations in Crimea and Donbas and declare neutrality. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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