Kyiv rejects Henry Kissinger's negotiated peace plan for Ukraine

Former US secretary of state says plan would reduce risk of another world war

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. AFP
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Kyiv dismissed comments from former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger that Ukraine should seek a negotiated peace plan with Russia to reduce the risk of sliding into another world war.

Mr Kissinger wrote in The Spectator that Europe's leaders “sleepwalked” into the First World War, resulting in the deaths of millions.

And the Treaty of Versailles, he wrote, left a more fragile power structure than the one it replaced.

Mr Kissinger asked if the war in Ukraine was at a similar turning point.

The war continues to drag on after Russia's February 24 invasion, and Ukraine applied to join Nato after Russia “annexed” the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

“The time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation,” Mr Kissinger wrote.

“A peace process should link Ukraine to Nato, however expressed. The alternative of neutrality is no longer meaningful, especially after Finland and Sweden joined Nato.”

Mr Kissinger, who extended the policy of detente between the US and Soviet Union during the Cold War, this year proposed a ceasefire in which Russia would retreat to the front lines before its invasion but that Crimea would be the centre of “negotiation”, Reuters reported.

On Sunday he said the peace process should “confirm the freedom of Ukraine and to define a new international structure”.

Russia, he said, should be a part of that new order.

But Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Mr Kissinger understood “neither the nature of this war, nor its impact on the world order”.

“The prescription that the ex-secretary of state calls for, but is afraid to say out loud, is simple: appease the aggressor by sacrificing parts of Ukraine with guarantees of non-aggression against the other states of Eastern Europe,” Mr Podolyak wrote on Telegram.

“All supporters of simple solutions should remember the obvious: any agreement with the devil — a bad peace at the expense of Ukrainian territories — will be a victory for Putin and a recipe for success for autocrats around the world.”

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: December 18, 2022, 9:18 PM
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