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Kissinger changes his mind on Ukraine joining NATO

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has signalled a U-turn in his views on Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership.

The veteran politician told The Economist that he now believes peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine joining the US-led military bloc.

  • Last fall, Kissinger insisted that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

He said the bloc’s eastward expansion since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991 had essentially removed Russia’s historic “safety belt,” but insisted that was no justification for Russia’s “surprise attack” on Ukraine.

  • However, in his interview on Wednesday with the British outlet, the politician, who turns 100 on May 27, suggested that “for the safety of Europe, it is better to have Ukraine in NATO.”

He acknowledged that he currently finds himself “in the weird position that people say, ‘Look at him, he’s changed his mind. Now he’s for membership of Ukraine in NATO.’”

The reason for such shift is “twofold,” Kissinger said.

“One, Russia is no longer the conventional threat it used to be. And, secondly, we have now armed Ukraine to a point where it will be the best-armed, most modern country and with the least experienced leadership in Europe,” he explained.

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has signalled a U-turn in his views on Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership. The veteran politician told The Economist that he now believes peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine joining the US-led military bloc.

  • Last fall, Kissinger insisted that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

He said the bloc’s eastward expansion since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991 had essentially removed Russia’s historic “safety belt,” but insisted that was no justification for Russia’s “surprise attack” on Ukraine.

However, in his interview on Wednesday with the British outlet, the politician, who turns 100 on May 27, suggested that “for the safety of Europe, it is better to have Ukraine in NATO.”

He acknowledged that he currently finds himself “in the weird position that people say, ‘Look at him, he’s changed his mind. Now he’s for membership of Ukraine in NATO.’”

The reason for such shift is “twofold,” Kissinger said. “One, Russia is no longer the conventional threat it used to be. And, secondly, we have now armed Ukraine to a point where it will be the best-armed, most modern country and with the least experienced leadership in Europe,” he explained.

Russia, which sees NATO’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.

  • Writing on Telegram, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed that despite Kissinger’s vast experience, he was “totally wrong” to suggest that Ukrainian membership in NATO would somehow guarantee peace. Instead, it would only lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the bloc, Medvedev insisted.

If the “dull-witted” NATO leadership decides to welcome Kiev into the bloc, “the Ukrainian nationalist regime won’t give up on attempts to regain lost territories,” added Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council.

In response, Moscow “would have to reply harshly with all available means,” likely triggering NATO’s Article 5, which states that an attack on one member equates to an attack on the entire bloc, Medvedev explained.

Source: RT