Henry Kissinger’s Shifting Views on Ukraine

1/18/23

Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger attends the ceremony for the Henry A. Kissinger Prize on January 21, 2020, in Berlin, Germany. Kissinger’s opinion on Ukraine has changed over the years.ADAM BERRY/GETTY

Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s stance on Ukraine has changed over the years, including on whether the country should become a NATO member.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, the 99-year-old Kissinger said: “Before this war, I was opposed to membership of Ukraine in NATO because I feared that it would start exactly the process that we have seen now.

“The idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful.”

Kissinger, who was instrumental to U.S. Cold War policy toward the Soviet Union when he served under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, has long said Ukraine should remain neutral and not join NATO. Despite this, he said at Davos that the country joining the Transatlantic alliance could be an “appropriate outcome” of Russia’s invasion.

He said that dialogue must be kept open between Russia and other countries even as the war rages on in Ukraine.

Kissinger said that Ukraine should recapture territory that has been annexed by Russia while holding negotiations to end the war, which has been going for nearly 11 months.

He said that a diplomatic process could help Russia “re-evaluate its historic position, which was an amalgam of an attraction to the culture of Europe and a fear of domination by Europe.”

“Each side needs to consider for itself how the threat to human survival of the destructiveness of weapons, coupled with making them almost conscious in their application, can be dealt with,” he said.

But for months before Davos, Kissinger has advocated for a ceasefire that would see Ukraine accept some of the annexed territory as Russian land.

Last May, he suggested a ceasefire that would see Russia withdraw to what the frontlines were before the February invasion, but the status of Crimea would be the subject of “negotiation.” But Ukrainian President Volodymr has repeatedly said that all annexed territory, including Crimea, would have to be returned to his country if there is to be peace with Russia.

In 2014, the year Russia annexed Crimea, Kissinger said that Ukraine should be neutral.

‘If Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other—it should function as a bridge between them,’ he wrote in a Washington Post column.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the threat of Ukraine joining NATO was one of the reasons he launched the invasion last February 24.

U.S. President Joe Biden‘s administration has said that it was up to Ukraine as to whether it should join NATO. But there has been little support for Ukraine joining the alliance as other members were concerned of guaranteeing mutual security to a country that has been at war with Russia since 2014 over the eastern Crimean Peninsula.

4 comments

  1. “If Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other—it should function as a bridge between them,”

    This was Kissinger’s earlier viewpoint about Ukraine. The chances for this to happen is now much further away than ever before. Mafia land’s full-scale invasion assured this.
    At any rate, it seems as if Ole Henry is waking up to reality. Will he be fully awake before he meets his maker? After all, he’s almost 100 years old.

    • Kissinger can be trusted as much as starving dog with a steak laid in front of it. he betrayed South Vietnam and he is not to be rusted on anything. Ever.

  2. I pray that if I get to the point of expressing bullshit, my family and friends will come to my rescue and tell me to just shut the fuck up before i make a bigger fool as Kissinger seems to want to do every time he opens his mouth.

What is your opinion?