Kissinger: ‘Breaking Russia Has Become Objective for US’
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has hit out at American and European policy in Ukraine, saying it ignores Russia’s relationship with its neighbor, and has called for cooperation between the White House and the Kremlin in Ukraine.
“Breaking Russia has become an objective [for US officials] the long-range purpose should be to integrate it,” the 92-year-old told The National Interest in a lengthy interview for the policy magazine’s anniversary that touched on most of the world’s most pertinent international issues. “If we treat Russia seriously as a great power, we need at an early stage to determine whether their concerns can be reconciled with our necessities.”
The diplomat, who is most famous for serving in the Nixon administration, and controversially being awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, for negotiating the Vietnam ceasefire, accused the West of failing to recognize the historical context in which the fallout occurred between Moscow and Kiev.
“The relationship between Ukraine and Russia will always have a special character in the Russian mind. It can never be limited to a relationship of two traditional sovereign states, not from the Russian point of view, maybe not even from Ukraine’s. So, what happens in Ukraine cannot be put into a simple formula of applying principles that worked in Western Europe.”
Kissinger lays the blame for sparking the conflict at the door of the EU, which proposed a trade deal in 2013, without considering how it would alienate Moscow, and divide the Ukrainian people.
“The first mistake was the inadvertent conduct of the European Union. They did not understand the implications of some of their own conditions. Ukrainian domestic politics made it look impossible for [former Ukrainian president Viktor] Yanukovych to accept the EU terms and be reelected or for Russia to view them as purely economic,” said Kissinger.
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