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Revisiting Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks: Kissinger's Changes and Unchanging


Since the start of the special military operation on February 24, the Russo-Ukrainian war has lasted for nearly 10 months. During this period, the two sides held several rounds of negotiations, and many political elites and scholars proposed proposals and suggested peace talks between the two countries, but they could not stop.

Since the start of the special military operation on February 24, the Russo-Ukraine war has lasted for nearly 10 months.

During this period, the two sides held several rounds of negotiations, and many political elites and scholars proposed plans and suggested peace talks between the two countries, but the fighting could not be stopped.

On December 17, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger published an article on the website of the British magazine "Spectator" entitled "How to avoid another world war" (How to avoid another world war), advocating the passage of The time to negotiate a peace is approaching and the peace process should link Ukraine with NATO, "the option of neutrality no longer makes sense".

Kissinger pointed out that he has always supported the Allied Forces to help Ukraine resist the Russian Army, but now it is time to achieve peace through negotiations: in terms of military structure arrangements, Ukraine should be "linked" with NATO, no matter what form it takes, The choice of neutrality is no longer meaningful. After all, Finland and Sweden have started the process of joining NATO; in terms of disputed territorial arrangements, the Russian army should return to the border before the war began on February 24, and the two sides will establish a ceasefire line. Crimea may become the subject of negotiations after the ceasefire.

However, Kissinger added that if the "return of the Russian army to the pre-war dividing line" cannot be achieved through fighting or negotiations, the principle of self-determination can also be resorted to, that is, an internationally supervised self-determination vote will be held to arrange the final destination for the disputed territory that has repeatedly changed hands. .

Kissinger concluded that the above-mentioned peace process has a dual goal: first, to confirm the freedom of Ukraine; second, to determine a new international structure, and Russia should also have a place in this structure.

"Some want Russia to be rendered powerless by war. I disagree. For more than 50 years, despite its violent tendencies, Russia has made a decisive contribution to the global balance and balance of power. Russia's historical role should not be belittled."

This is not the first time that Kissinger has called for Russia-Ukraine negotiations, but in terms of content and details, this initiative is somewhat different from the past.

On January 21, 2020, former US Secretary of State Kissinger attended an event in Berlin, Germany.


Kissinger and Musk resonance

First of all, Kissinger has repeatedly emphasized in the past that the Russian army should return to the "border" before the February 24 operation; this article in the "Spectator" should be the first time he has changed his words: "This matter cannot be achieved through fighting or negotiation, and it can also resort to people's self-determination.

Recalling Kissinger’s speech at the Davos Forum in Switzerland on May 23, when he called on Russia and Ukraine to resume negotiations within two months, “Ideally, the (Russia-Ukraine) demarcation line should be restored to its original state. To push the war beyond this dividing point is not about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself." The statement drew criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and put Kissinger in deep water. Persuading surrender" public opinion storm.

On July 2, Kissinger accepted an exclusive interview with The Spectator, and once again emphasized the benefits of the Russian army returning to the front line before the "special military operation" on February 24: First, the joining of Finland and Sweden strengthened NATO and provided protection for the Russian army. The Baltic states have created a strategic space; second, Ukraine will have the largest conventional ground force in Europe associated with NATO or its member states; The greatest fear; fourth, that Russia will face the need to "coexist with Europe as a whole".

However, to force the Russian army to retreat, the key is the game between the two armies on the Russian-Ukrainian battlefield.

Facts have proved that although the Russian army cannot go straight in, its offensive will is still strong. Putin (Vladimir Putin) has continued to increase political and military investment in order to achieve operational results: first announced the mobilization on September 21, and then on September 21. From September 23 to 27, a referendum on the "four regions joining Russia" in Ukraine was held, and a decree was signed on September 30 to formally merge the four regions into Russia.

On December 5, in the town of Bucha, Ukraine, the damaged Russian tank was covered with snow.

(Getty Images)

The development of the situation made it more and more impossible for the "Russian army to retreat voluntarily".

For Russia, unless it is absolutely necessary, any withdrawal at the moment will undermine its internal political security. Take the November 9 withdrawal of Russian troops from the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast as an example. Despite strong criticism from within Russia, there were even rumors of a "political exchange" between Russia and the United States. Even though Putin forced himself to calm down, he was still humiliated by the siege of public opinion.

But Xu Shi noticed the change in the situation. When Kissinger accepted an online interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank, on September 30, he no longer emphasized the statement that "the Russian army has returned to the pre-war demarcation line." ; The proposal to hold an internationally supervised self-determination vote in the disputed territory can also be regarded as a new proposition that is in line with changes in reality.

But in fact, Kissinger was not the first to think of this way.

On October 4th, American billionaire Elon Musk posted on Twitter, proposing a four-point plan for "Ukraine-Russia peace": first, hold another referendum in Russia-occupied Ukraine, supervised by the United Nations; , to recognize Russia's sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula; third, to ensure water supply to Crimea; and fourth, to grant Ukraine neutral status.

Musk said that the above situation is likely to be the final result of this war, but early negotiations can reduce the price. He also pointed out that Ukraine is unlikely to win in a full-scale war. "If you care about the Ukrainian people, please seek peace."

Although Kissinger and Musk may not have the same vision of the endgame of Russia and Ukraine, they can resonate with each other in their plans to deal with the disputed territories, reflecting their realization of the difficulty of reunification of Ukraine after observing Russia’s determination to increase.

American billionaire Musk.

(Getty Images)

The background color of the balance of power has not changed

In this Russia-Ukraine peace initiative, what Kissinger has not changed is his ideological background of emphasizing the balance of power.

In short, it is an operation of accepting as soon as it is good, or even partially appeasement, in exchange for Russia not to lean too much on China, so as to prevent the United States from falling into an unfavorable strategic environment.

Among them, "let it go when you see it" is intended to avoid protracted war, while consolidating existing achievements and planning Ukraine's future role.

As for the so-called achievements, Kissinger has mentioned in many interviews and articles since July, including that Finland and Sweden have started the process of joining NATO, Ukraine has deepened its military cooperation with many NATO countries, and Russia has lost its control over Europe. The threat of conventional attacks, etc.

But when it comes to Ukraine's future role, Kissinger's vision differs slightly from Musk's.

Kissinger did not agree with "giving Ukraine a neutral status", but believed that Ukraine should be "established" with NATO. Obviously, his preferred future political direction for Ukraine is to be a geographical extension of the West and NATO, or even a substantial NATOization. Not purely neutral, and even pro-Russian political space exists.

But such a proposition of "supporting Ukraine" must be paired with "partial appeasement" of Russia in order to maintain the overall balance of the European continental order.

Therefore, Kissinger did not agree to force the Russian army to withdraw from Crimea from the very beginning, and after Russia increased its investment, he gradually gave up the insistence of "Russian army retreating to the pre-war demarcation line" and advocated that the disputed territory " national self-determination".

In all fairness, even with international supervision, given that Russia already controls part of the territory of the four regions, the result of the vote will definitely favor Moscow rather than Kyiv; even if Kherson and Zaporizhzhia may exist Variable, Donetsk (Donetsk) and Luhansk (Luhansk) will inevitably choose to join Russia.

Therefore, the so-called national self-determination under international supervision is actually tantamount to forcing Ukraine to cede territory and legalizing Russia's splitting of other countries' sovereignty.

On December 5, in Kyiv, Ukraine, during the Russian air strike, residents hid in the subway station and watched the latest news on their mobile phones.

(Getty Images)

In addition, Kissinger also advocated the resumption of dialogue between the West and Russia, and called for resistance to Russian military aggression not to rise to the subversion of the Putin regime.

When Kissinger was interviewed in September, he said, "We have the responsibility to conceive a dialogue that can protect our security and allow us to return to the spirit of coexistence, and the overthrow of the other party's leaders must not be a prerequisite." Kissinger also stated in the article that one of the purposes of the peace process is to determine a new international structure, and Russia should also have a place in this structure.

From the above arrangements, it can be seen that Kissinger’s diplomatic approach has a strong background of power politics, and was born out of the European political games from the 17th century to the 19th century: although Russia is unpopular, it is an important player in maintaining the balance of power; In the overall situation of power politics with a balance of power, the interests of small countries and weak actors can all be sacrificed.

In the final analysis, Kissinger has observed the changing situation of China’s rising and rising in the east and falling in the west, and tried his best to prevent the United States from exerting excessive force in Ukraine, which would lead to an increase in the level of strategic cooperation between China and Russia and accelerate the destruction of the unipolar order. .

Since the outbreak of the war, Kissinger’s proposals for peace talks have changed in details, but they still serve the strategic arrangement of the balance of power: Ukraine’s substantive NATOization, Russia’s possession of part of Ukrainian territory including Crimea, and Contained in the European system, the relationship between the United States, Europe and Russia is unbreakable. Although Kyiv has repeatedly accused it of being pro-Russian and accommodating aggression, it seems that it has never seen Kissinger's background: even if the United States does not always listen to his opinions, But Kissinger has always served the national interests of the United States, not Russia, let alone Ukraine.

How is Kissinger's article on Russia-Ukraine peace talks on December 17 different from previous claims?

Instead of insisting that the Russian army must return to the pre-war borders, it believes that the disputed territories can be self-determinated under international supervision.

How does Kissinger arrange the future Russia-Ukraine order with the balance of power thinking?

Ukraine is actually NATOized, and Russia occupies part of Ukraine's territory, including Crimea, and is included in the European mechanism.

Russo-Ukraine War︱Kissinger's article: The time to achieve peace through negotiations is approaching. Kissinger advocates Europe's attempt to bring Russia into the European system, just like establishing a relationship with post-war Germany. Why did Kissinger say "Russia has lost the war"?

The voice of "persuading surrender" behind Kissinger: Why did Western public opinion lose patience with the Russia-Ukraine war?

How did the Russo-Ukrainian war end?

Kissinger talks about 3 plans Harvard professor: Why are Kissinger and Mearsheimer not popular in the United States?

|Experts have something to say

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2022-12-20

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