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Ukraine Should Ideally Become Neutral State, Ex-US Secretary of State Kissinger Says

© AP Photo / Richard DrewFormer U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his "Cavuto Coast to Coast" program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Friday, June 5, 2015
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his Cavuto Coast to Coast program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Friday, June 5, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.05.2022
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Sputnik) - The Ukraine crisis would ideally result in the transformation of Ukraine into a neutral bridge state between Russia and Europe, former US Secretary of State and veteran foreign policy scholar Henry Kissinger said at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos on Monday.
"About eight years ago, when the idea of membership of Ukraine in NATO came up, I wrote an article in which I said that the ideal outcome would be if Ukraine could be constituted as a neutral kind of state, as a bridge between Russia and Europe," Kissinger said. "I think that opportunity does not now exist in the same manner, but it could still be conceived as an ultimate objective."
The former Secretary of State said movement toward peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine needs to begin within the next two months or so.
The outcome of the conflict should be outlined before it creates upheavals and tensions that are more difficult to overcome, Kissinger added.
Kissinger, 98, made the remarks during a virtual discussion with World Economic Forum founder and chief Klaus Schwab as part of the organization’s annual meeting in Davos.
Back in March 2014, he penned an op-ed for The Washington Post, in which he wrote: "The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then."
Kissinger also stressed in the op-ed that Ukraine "should not join NATO, a position I took seven years ago, when it last came up".

"Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them", he wrote in 2014.

Ukraine's neutral, non-nuclear, non-bloc status is among the key demands of the Russian side. In March, Kiev expressed its readiness to agree to these conditions during talks in Istanbul, but later changed its position.
Kissinger is known for his efforts to ease tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as for opening up relations between the United States and China during his time at the State Department and as a National Security Advisor.
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