Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is calling for the West to stop trying to inflict a devastating defeat on the Russian military in Ukraine.
His comments came at a World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. They were reported by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of The Telegraph.
Kissinger warned that it would be disastrous for the West to forget that Russia holds a proper place in the European balance of power. He said Russia has played a key role in Europe for 400 years.
He also warned against the risk of pushing Russia into a permanent alliance with China.
He said negotiations need to begin soon between Ukraine and Russia.
"Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome," he said. "Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself," he said.
"I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom," he added.
Earlier this month Kissinger had warned that Russia's Vladimir Putin could deploy nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine
"We have to think how we react to that," he said, "We can't just accept it. It would open the world to a new world of blackmail."
Use of nuclear weapons, he stressed, "should be a subject of reflection. If the line in nuclear weapons is crossed, it is something of a great consequence … It is not possible to ignore it or pretend it didn't happen."
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