As an architect of a relaxation policy, the ex-foreign minister of the United States, Henry Kissinger, has transformed the bloodiest layers into diplomacy. Now he is presenting a peace plan for Ukraine. The entry into the exit from the war could close for three reasons.
Henry Kissinger is considered the grandmaster of world diplomacy. The ex-foreign minister of the United States was an architect of relaxation policy in the Cold War, he broke out historical conflicts between Beijing and Washington, caused diplomatic miracles in the Vietnam War and in the Middle East conflict and received the Nobel Peace Prize. Today Kissinger is 99 years old and tries to turn a war into peace one last time. For Ukraine, he outlines a peace plan with three elements.
First of all, the course of the front should be “frozen”, if possible along the line in the Donbas where Ukrainian troops and rebels controlled by Moscow faced each other before the Russian attack on February 24 last year. After the armistice, political negotiations for a peace solution could begin. During these talks, the West must continue its sanctions against Russia and military aid to Ukraine to keep the pressure on Moscow. In the end, a political compromise could be that Russia would get Crimea and the Donbas, but in return Ukraine would be able to join NATO. Kissinger says NATO membership would be a “appropriate consequence” of the Russian invasion.
Kissinger had already made a first attempt last year to launch a peace plan (without the NATO option). However, this was heavily criticized by the Ukrainian side. That’s different now. Kissinger’s proposal is being seriously considered in Kyiv, Moscow and Washington. From diplomatic circles it can be heard that there is “movement” and “soundings” going on behind the scenes. The “Kissinger moment of war” near.
And For Three Reasons
First, after a year, the war has deadlocked into a savage trench warfare. The course of the front hardly moves anymore, the situation is fatally reminiscent of the situation in the First World War. The hope of further military successes is dwindling for both warring parties. The willingness to negotiate a ceasefire is growing noticeably. On the Ukrainian side, it was still hoped in the autumn that the counter-offensive could be pushed as far as the Russian borders. Now the Russian troops are slightly in the upper hand again. On the Russian side, on the other hand, losses are so high that even the most patriotic military bloggers do not hope for major land gains.
Second, there is a shift in opinion in Washington. US Chief of Staff Mark Milley – after all, the highest-ranking US military – said before Christmas that no further military successes were to be expected from Ukraine after the liberation of Cherson and that now is a good time to seek a political decision – through peace negotiations. Milley even gave his pragmatic assessment at a press conference alongside US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Literally, he said: “The probability of a military victory for Ukraine, defined as the expulsion of the Russians from all of Ukraine, including the Crimea they claim, is not high in the foreseeable future.”
On the contrary, the Americans fear that Russia, thanks to its strategic superiority in terms of personnel and resources, will regain momentum. As a result, significantly larger numbers of American military officials now agree to the Kissinger plan than they did last fall. In Washington’s political class, too, the willingness to continue supporting the Ukraine war at such high cost is crumbling. Here, too, Kissinger’s arguments serve as opinion leaders: the western allies have already achieved their main goals, says Kissinger. The aggressor Vladimir Putin was stopped and severely weakened. Ukraine will remain a free country, now oriented towards the West, and NATO will be strengthened. Russia would even have to accept the enlargement of NATO to include Sweden and Finland.
Moscow is Also Signaling its Willingness to Negotiate
Third, Moscow is also signaling its willingness to negotiate. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the start of the week during a visit to South Africa that Russia has long been ready for peace talks. Only the United States and other Western countries would ever claim that Russia is not serious about negotiating an agreement to end the war. “It is known that from the very beginning of the special military operation we supported the Ukrainian side’s proposal to negotiate. And by the end of March, the two delegations had agreed on the principle of resolving this conflict,” Lavrov said, claiming: “More has happened but also publicly that our American, British and some European colleagues told Ukraine that it is too early to negotiate and the deal that was almost agreed was never revisited by the Kiev regime.”
Western intelligence services report that there have been fierce power struggles between paramilitary units such as the Wagner Group and the traditional army on the Russian side for several weeks. Putin faces an increasingly unstable security scenario and is likely to have growing interest in a ceasefire as domestic support for the war weakens weekly. Above all, Russia’s business elite would like peace to be concluded soon. Kissinger concludes from this mixed situation: the time has come when negotiations with Putin have to take place. Moscow should be given the prospect of becoming part of the international system again. Kissinger urges Ukrainians to “match the heroism they have shown with wisdom”.
Kissinger set an example in his own life. As a child of a Jewish family, Heinz Alfred Kissinger from Fürth had to flee Germany in the 1930s. The Nazis murdered many of his family members. He returned to Germany as a US soldier at the end of the Second World War, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was one of the soldiers who liberated the Hannover-Ahlem subcamp. Nevertheless, after the war, Kissinger focused on reconciliation with Germany and is still attached to his Franconian homeland to this day. For him, peace in Ukraine for his 100th birthday on May 27 would be the best birthday present. Because he follows the slogan of the former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt: “It’s better to negotiate for 100 hours for nothing than to shoot for a minute.”
This article is originally published on n-tv.de