Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that the conflict in Ukraine should be completed by the negotiation process, since its delay is fraught with escalation. He stated this in an interview with CNN.
“I would caution against dragging out the fighting indefinitely. Because, in that case, everything will be like the First World War, and there will probably be an escalation. Therefore, I hope that the NATO countries will soon agree among themselves on what the results of the negotiations should be and what result is achievable,” he said. In his opinion, the parties should return to the situation that existed before the start of the military operation – that is, Russia will have to give up 15-20% of the territory of Ukraine that are under its control. Kissinger also does not believe that Zelensky must relinquish lost territories. It’s just that the status of the regions that fell away from Ukraine even before the start of the Russian special operation (Crimea and part of the Donbass) should be open for negotiations. “And it may take some time to settle, but this is only a small part of Ukraine,” he said.
As for the official American position around the Ukrainian conflict, in general, Kissinger approves of the actions of the US administration, which are designed to demonstrate that “Russia cannot impose its will through military force.”
With regards to Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, according to the 99-year-old politician, the process will already be very different from what took place during the first phase of hostilities. “The situation will change quite radically. Because Ukraine, armed with NATO, has close relations with it, which will continue after the end of hostilities. Previously, I thought that Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be a mistake, but after the situation went over the edge, everything changed,” he said.
Of course, the events around Ukraine will greatly change the geopolitical situation in the world, the patriarch of American politics is sure. “After that, NATO should think about what the long-term relationship with Russia will be like. The old idea that Russia could just enter Europe is over. Therefore, it is impossible to have relations with Russia in which Russia considers itself a part of Europe,” he said.
One of the central questions of a large interview was the difficult relationship between China and the United States, which is far from accidental. It is no secret that it was Kissinger who, when he was secretary of state in the 1970s, made a lot of efforts to bring the two countries closer together – then the American leadership saw the PRC as a potential counterbalance to the Soviet Union. When asked if he did not consider his previous actions to be erroneous, a former member of the team Richard Nixon stated that “it was of great benefit to the United States for 30 years.” “Back then, China was developing rapidly, faster than anyone could have imagined. And, perhaps, it was worth paying attention to it earlier. This gave China the opportunity to become the second most powerful state in the world, then a fundamental problem arose, which is the threat to American interests of the existence of a country capable of challenging the United States, ”said the veteran American politician.
One of the manifestations of the increased power and influence of Beijing was the situation around Taiwan. Therefore, the interview touched upon the recent scandalous visit to the island of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. According to Kissinger, this trip is “unreasonable”. He believes that “it was a move that gave the other side the opportunity to openly threaten how they could block Taiwan.” The former secretary of state is sure that “Pelosi’s trip is an attempt to solve the problem on the basis of confrontation.” But in this situation, in his opinion, when the issue of war and peace is at stake, “new approaches are needed for both sides.” “If the Chinese do not cooperate, there will be a confrontation. And I am very uneasy about what will happen next in Taiwan,” he said.
In his opinion, the conflict between China and the United States could lead to tragic consequences. “If you even look at the First World War and compare, you will see that neither side could imagine what the world would look like after it ended. The world after the Sino-American military conflict will be infinitely worse than after the First World War,” the patriarch of American politics is convinced.
The interview also touched upon the capture of the Capitol building by protesters on January 6, 2021. At the same time, Kissinger did not comment on polling data, according to which about 70% of Americans consider the results of the 2020 presidential election to be rigged. “But that was unacceptable, and whatever the view of the nature of the individual elections on Election Day, the outgoing President of the United States is responsible for passing on to his successor, and this has been done throughout American history, and so it was unacceptable. An organized demonstration against Congress, an invasion of Congress was absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
One of the topics that the former secretary of state has recently paid increased attention to is the development of artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies, in his opinion, pose a threat to humanity and there is a fear of their getting out of control. He even wrote a book about it, published this year – “Artificial intelligence and a new era of mankind.”
According to the politician, the ability of AI to determine combat missions and targets for destruction, to select means and methods for this, is a “serious trap” for the population of the planet. “We have two conflicting tasks. First, we must protect national interests and ensure our security. And for this we need to develop technology, but we also need to have a dialogue with other high-tech countries about how to prevent technology from getting out of control. This has not yet been achieved,” says Henry Kissinger.