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PoliticsWorldKissinger: 'Not wise' to include Ukraine in Nato

Kissinger: ‘Not wise’ to include Ukraine in Nato

The US's bid to add Ukraine to Nato after the collapse of the USSR is not prudent, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on 30 September. Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, a bipartisan US think-tank, the 99-year-old veteran diplomat opined that Washington was trying to indiscriminately include all former members of the Soviet bloc under its umbrella after the Berlin Wall fell and that the “whole region between the centre of Europe and Russian border became open to restructure.”

“From the Russian point of view, the US then attempted to integrate this whole region, without exception, into an American-led strategic system,” he said, explaining that this development basically removed Russia’s historic “ belt.”

Kissinger emphasised that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into Nato.” He, however, does not believe that this justifies attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to re-incorporate Ukraine into Moscow’s sphere of influence by a “surprise attack.”

Kissinger said he did not know if it is possible to make peace with the Russian leader but asserted that the West “must seek an opportunity for an arrangement that guarantees Ukrainian freedom” and keeps the country part of the European system.

Furthermore, Kissinger opined that in a way, Russia has “already lost the war” because its capacity to threaten Europe with conventional attacks, which it had enjoyed for decades or even centuries, “has now been demonstrably overcome.”

Despite that, the former secretary of state said that sooner or later, the West and Russia must engage in dialogue. “Some dialogue, maybe on an unofficial level, maybe in an exploratory way is very important,” he reiterated, adding that “in the nuclear environment” such an outcome is preferable to a “battlefield decision.”

In early August, Kissinger had warned that the US had found itself “at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created,” arguing that Washington has rejected traditional diplomacy, as it has been “seeking to convert or condemn their interlocutors rather than to penetrate their thinking.”

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