Henry Kissinger's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos
Let me thank you for letting me come back to Davos because it's a very important forum for exchanging ideas around the world. But the outcome of this turning point is not yet clear, because there are a number of issues that are still under consideration by decision makers, and of course, many changes that occur will affect the outcome.
Let me sketch out the most important questions. The most significant challenge at the moment is the war in Ukraine, and the outcome of this war, both militarily and politically, will affect the relations between the groupings of countries, which I will mention in a moment. And the outcome of any war, and the peace settlement, and the nature of this peace settlement - will determine whether the belligerents will remain permanent adversaries, or whether they can be entered into the international framework.
About eight years ago, when the idea of Ukraine's membership in NATO arose, I wrote an article in which I said that the ideal outcome would be the creation of Ukraine as a neutral state, as a bridge between Russia and Europe. I think that this situation does not exist now, but it can still be seen as an end goal. In my opinion, movement towards peace talks should be started in the next two months so that the outcome of the war can be summed up. This must be done before turmoil and tension build up to levels that will be difficult to overcome, especially in the area of possible relations between Russia, Georgia and Ukraine with Europe. Ideally, the dividing line should return to the former status quo. I believe that the spread of the war beyond the borders of Poland will lead to the fact that it will turn into a war not for the freedom of Ukraine, which rallied NATO, but against Russia itself. It seems to me that this is a dividing line that cannot be crossed. Positive changes can come in the course of negotiations, which, of course, have not yet been organized, but which should begin.
From a long-term perspective, Russia has been an essential part of Europe for 400 years, influencing European politics. Sometimes as an observer, but in some cases as a guarantor or instrument with which to restore the European balance. The current policy should keep in mind that the restoration of this role is important to develop, and not push Russia towards a stronger alliance with China.
We know that China and the United States will need to reach certain agreements in the coming years on how to build long-term relations between the countries. It depends on their strategic capabilities as well as their understanding of those capabilities. In recent years, the relationship between China and the United States has become unique in each side's history: in terms of strategic potential, they pose the greatest threat to each other - in fact, the only military threat that each side needs to reckon with. The problem is whether this hostile aspect can be moderated and gradually weakened through diplomacy carried out by both sides, and this cannot be done unilaterally by one side. Thus, both sides must come to the conclusion that some softening of political relations is necessary because they are in a position that has never been before.
Of course, there are many other problems in the world. The emergence of additional nuclear powers, in particular Iran. In a period directly related to the Ukrainian issue, it is important to change the balance associated with the rise of such countries as India and Brazil. These questions seem to me to be the key issues, along with the fact that the conflict in Ukraine has resulted in a break in the economic agreements that were reached in the previous period, so that the definition and functioning of the global system will need to be re-examined.
It is these challenges that must be overcome if we are not to live in an increasingly confrontational and chaotic world.
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