Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advocated for Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“Before this war, I was opposed to membership of Ukraine in NATO, because I feared that it would start exactly the process that we are seeing now,” Mr. Kissinger said remotely at a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful. I believe Ukrainian membership in NATO would be an appropriate outcome.”
Ukraine applied for NATO membership in September.
Mr. Kissinger’s comments echoed points he made in an article in The Spectator magazine last month, in which he argued for establishing a ceasefire in the Russo-Ukraine war along the pre-invasion lines of contact.
Describing a plan by which the war could conclude, Mr. Kissinger Tuesday said that such a suspension in fighting “is the reasonable outcome of the military actions but not necessarily the outcome of a later peace negotiation."
Neither Russia nor Ukraine has displayed particular zeal for opening negotiations. While Moscow has preconditioned talks on Ukraine’s recognition of Russian territorial gains, Kyiv has demanded that Russian troops abandon the Crimean Peninsula and all other Ukrainian lands before meaningful talks may begin.
Near-term negotiations would “keep the war from becoming a war against Russia itself,” Mr. Kissinger said, cautioning against provoking instability within Russia, given the country’s large nuclear-weapons arsenal. Talks would give Moscow “an opportunity to rejoin an international system.”
Mr. Kissinger, 99 years old, was instrumental in establishing Cold War détente with the Soviet Union as secretary of state in the 1970s.
“I believe in dialogue with Russia while the war continues, an end of fighting when the prewar line is reached,” he said Tuesday. “I believe this is the way to prevent the war from escalating by raising issues beyond those that existed at the beginning of the war and making them subject to a continuation of military conflict.”