Kissinger: To Fix Ukraine, Make It More Like Finland

It's independent, but cooperates with both West and Russia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2014 7:07 PM CST
Kissinger: To Fix Ukraine, Make It More Like Finland
A Russian soldier guards a pier where two Ukrainian naval vessels are moored in Sevastopol, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Henry Kissinger weighs in on Ukraine in the Washington Post, delivering up heaps of criticism for all the major players. Russia, the US, Europe, and Ukraine itself are all "posturing" and turning this into a dangerous all-or-nothing showdown. By their misguided thinking, Ukraine must end up either with the West or with Russia. "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," writes Kissinger.

Among his suggestions: Russia must recognize the sovereignty of Ukraine over Crimea, but Ukraine must cede more autonomy to Crimea. The US, meanwhile, must realize that "the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one." And when the dust clears, Ukrainian leaders should strive for the model of Finland. "That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia," writes Kissinger. The stakes are huge, he adds. If leaders botch this, hopes of bringing Russia and the West into a cooperative system will be set back for decades. Click for the full column, or to read about today's phone call between Putin and President Obama.)

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