For over four centuries, Russia was a part of Europe and that cannot be forgotten by European leaders, otherwise Russia could end up in a long-term alliance with China, Henry Kissinger warned the Davos World Economic Forum, revealing his hope that Ukraine would be “as wise as it has been heroic” and cut a deal with Russia involving a compromise over territory.
Bartłomiej Radziejewski, the director of the Nowa Konfederacja think tank, took issue with Kissinger’s comments, telling viewers in a Q&A posted on Youtube that Kissinger was the author of the concept of turning China away from the communist bloc during the Cold War, a maneuver that helped the U.S. defeat the USSR, but which also became the main reason for the U.S.’s current foreign policy problems.
This is because Kissinger’s vision involved increasing interdependence between the U.S. and China. Now, Kissinger wants to backtrack in order to turn Russia against China, and therefore advocates a very different view of American interests than that of the Biden administration.
There is a cross-party consensus in the United States that most attention and resources should now be dedicated to China and the Pacific Rim. The problem is that Russia is a key factor which is slowing down this process by creating trouble in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
Radziejewski believes that American elites see two possible solutions for the Russian problem. The first is a new Yalta, involving trading Ukraine and other countries in order to solve the problem by satisfying Russian imperial appetites. This is what Kissinger is advocating.
Luckily for Poland, this is being rejected in favor of a strategy to knock out Russia’s teeth and to isolate it in order to reduce its military and imperial potential. It is by no means certain that this approach will prevail in the longer term.
Kissinger’s thinking is not without foundation or logic, but factors such as the weakening economic potential of Russia make it increasingly likely America will want to see Russia become a less important player on the world stage.
Radziejewski feels that the U.S. cannot count any longer on turning Russia against China. He feels it is simply too late for such a maneuver to have any chance of success.