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Kissinger thinks Ukraine should be more like Finland

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In an opinion article published by the Washington Post, Dr. Henry Kissinger takes a position on the Ukrainian crisis.

After stating that Ukraine, as a state, can not survive either as an ally of Russia, or as an ally of the West, but only as a bridge between the two, he continues - at the risk of contradicting himself - with an illustration of the historical roots linking the two countries.

According to him, Yulia Tymoshenko is pro-European and whereas Viktor Yanukovych is pro-Russian, and he argues that the current crisis has its origin in the obstinacy of these two major Ukrainian leaders to impose their will on the whole country, in defiance of the other half.

Kissinger deplores the current military turn of the crisis and cautions against the unpredictable consequences that each of the two parties might have to face.

Finally, he puts forward four proposals to serve as a basis for discussion and not as recipes for U.S. policy :
- 1 . Ukraine must be entitled to choose its economic system and even in association with the European Union.
- 2 . Ukraine should not join NATO.
- 3 . Ukraine should model itself on Finland (that is to say, become neutral).
- 4 . Crimea should not secede, but Kiev should bolster its autonomy and ensure the maintenance of the Russian fleet at Sevastopol.

This shaded text must be seen as an attempt to find a way out of the current standoff.

The description of the two Ukrainian leaders, respectively as pro-European and pro-Russian, does not correspond to reality: Tymoshenko negotiated and signed the gas deal with Russia, which led to her prosecution and sentencing, while Yanukovich negotiated and signed the agreement with Shell to exploit the country’s shale gas potential, which could also lead to his conviction. On such crucial occasions, the two leaders served their own personal interests and not those of an ideological camp.

Be that as it may, this "balanced" presentation, that is to say dividing the faults equally between the two sides, aims to justify the exit door: Washington would renounce the incorportation of Ukraine into NATO and guarantee the status of the Russian Black Sea fleet if, on its part, Moscow forgoes Ukraine’s insertion in the Customs Union as well as the annexing of Crimea.

The problem is that this offer comes as Washington has already lost the battle on the ground. If Moscow turns it down, NATO could advance its missiles, but would end up having to manage a debt of $ 35 billion, a Nazi government, as well as the loss of Crimea, and possibly the chunk of Ukrainian territory extending as far as Transnistria.

How the Ukraine crisis ends”, par Henry A. Kissinger, The Washington Post, 6 mars 2014.

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