According to the politician, if peace talks do not resume within two months, hostilities may spread to the entire European continent *
The West must influence Ukraine to resume peace talks with Moscow, even if Kyiv will have to make a number of concessions. This was stated by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, writes The Telegraph.
“Negotiations [between Moscow and Kyiv] should begin in the next two months before they create turmoil and tension that will not be easy to overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the previous state of affairs. The continuation of the war after this will not be for the freedom of Ukraine, but will be a new war against Russia itself, — Kissinger said.
According to the politician, the West must stop trying to inflict a “crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine”, as this would be disastrous for long-term stability on the European continent. He noted that Russia has been an integral part of Europe for more than 400 years and the guarantor of the European structure of the balance of power, therefore it is impossible to “push Russia towards a permanent alliance with China.”
In addition, speaking at the forum, the former secretary of state said that the idea of Ukraine maintaining a neutral status and turning the country into a “bridge” between East and West ceased to exist. “Eight years ago, when the idea of Ukraine joining NATO came up, I then wrote an article in which I noted that it would be good for Ukraine to remain in the group of neutral countries that became a bridge between East and West. But now this idea has ceased to exist, — he said.
Kissinger served as National Security Adviser to the President in 1969-1975. From 1973 to 1977 he served as Secretary of State.
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Russia launched a military special operation in Ukraine on February 24th. Four days later, Russian-Ukrainian negotiations began on the settlement of the conflict, the first three rounds were held in person on the territory of Belarus. Then the meetings continued via videoconferencing.
Another face-to-face meeting initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was held in Istanbul on March 29. Then Kyiv handed over to Moscow proposals for a peace treaty providing for security guarantees for Ukraine, their non-proliferation to the Crimea and Donbass, and the country's refusal to seek to return these territories by force. Moscow, in turn, promised to reduce military activity near Kyiv and Chernigov.
Then the negotiations continued again via video link. However, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said that the process became more complicated after the events in Bucha, Mariupol, Volnovakha and the Kyiv region. On May 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the discussion of the peace agreement was temporarily suspended, as the Ukrainian side “practically withdrew from the negotiation process.”
On May 22, the head of the Russian negotiating delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, reported that Russia does not refuse negotiations with Ukraine and is ready to continue them, but now the process is frozen on the initiative of Kyiv. “Russia has never refused negotiations, including at the highest level. <…> A month ago, we handed over to the Ukrainian side a draft treaty, in which a number of fundamental positions had already been agreed upon. We intended to move on. However, since then, there has been no desire to continue the dialogue on the part of Ukraine,»— he noted.
Two days later, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an interview with NHK, said that Kyiv would begin negotiations with Moscow only after the return of territories that it had lost control of after the start of the Russian operation on February 24.
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