With China’s participation, serious negotiations could begin by the end of the year, the elder statesman said
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told CBS News that the Ukraine conflict may be approaching a turning point, with China-brokered peace talks likely to begin by the end of 2023.
“Now that China has entered negotiations, I think it will culminate by the end of this year,” he said. The 99-year-old diplomat told CBS in an interview that aired Sunday. By then, he continued, “We’re going to talk about the negotiation process, even the actual negotiations.”
With its “Position on a Political Solution to the Ukraine Crisis” released in February, China presented itself as a potential mediator between Moscow and Kiev.China’s plan was rejected outright by the US and EU, while Russian President Vladimir Putin described some of its 12 points as “coordinated” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed only a few points of Moscow’s stance, but insisted that Kiev would not compromise with Russia in any way.
Zelensky’s refusal to negotiate with Putin’s government — Ukraine’s leader passed a decree last October banning contacts with the Kremlin — is just one stumbling block for China or any other potential intermediary.
Russia sees the conflict in Ukraine as a proxy war with NATO, and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Friday that no talks will take place “With Zelensky, he is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his master.”
In Washington, President Biden’s administration has publicly stated that it is up to Ukraine to decide when to seek peace.U.S. Offers No Incentives to Zelensky, Biden Offers to Keep Arming Him “As long as needed” to achieve his war goals. Those goals include seizing Crimea, which has been Russian territory since 2014. U.S. military leaders have publicly acknowledged that the chances of that happening are remote.
Kissinger angered Kiev last year when he suggested Ukraine accept return. “as is”, Or renounce territorial claims to Crimea and grant autonomy to the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the name of peace. He has since suggested the territories become the basis for negotiations following a ceasefire and Russian troop withdrawal.
Moscow has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev, but only if Ukraine “Recognize the reality,” Including the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions as part of Russia. Otherwise, the Kremlin said, Russia would resolve the conflict by military means.
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