Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes Ukraine should give up territory to end the war with Russia.
The elder statesman, 98, provided his thoughts on the war during a conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday.
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"Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante," Kissinger said. "Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself."
His plan of returning "to the status quo ante" implies that he believes Ukraine should agree to a deal that would restore the situation as it was on Feb. 24, when Russia began its invasion. Such an agreement would result in Russia maintaining its control of the Crimean Peninsula and its informal control of parts of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian leaders have long opposed the idea of giving up any territory in a deal to end the war.
“I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” the former secretary said.
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The war has gone on for three months, and Russia has failed to accomplish most of its initial objectives. The Russians initially set out to take over the capital, overthrow the government, and install a new regime, but they failed to get within the city limits after weeks. Russian leaders ultimately withdrew their troops from the surrounding areas to refocus their efforts on the Donbas region.
Since Russia invaded, the United States and its NATO allies have united behind Ukraine and have donated billions of dollars worth of military aid for the country to defend itself and trained Ukrainian troops on the weapons that were unfamiliar to them.