Stock Groups

Ukraine rejects Kissinger suggestion it should cede land to Russia


An MP from Ukraine has offered what he described as a “polite” response to Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State in the United States. He suggested that Ukraine could be willing to give some territory to Moscow to achieve peace.

Oleksiy Goncharenko, an Ukrainian parliamentarian, said Wednesday that “I believe Mr. Kissinger still exists in the 20th Century and we’re in the 21st Century and we won’t give up any of our territory.”

He added, “That would send the most damaging signal to Putin.”

Goncharenko declared, “We must stop Putin immediately” and added that he believes the fastest way to achieve peace in Ukraine was to have it join the European Union.

CNBC reached out to Kissinger’s representative in response to critics of his remarks.

Kissinger was a former U.S. Secretary and National Security Advisor. He suggested earlier this week that Ukraine could be ready to hand over some territory to Russia in exchange for a peaceful settlement with Moscow.

Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum on Monday, Kissinger said “ideally, the dividing line should return to the status quo ante,” meaning a return to the existing state of affairs before the war, suggesting that he thought that Russia should be allowed to retain Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

Henry Kissinger speaking during an interview with Washington in 2007.

Corbis Historical | Corbis Historical | Getty Images

Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford, said that “pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine … but a new war against Russia itself.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the Ukrainian President. He has stated that Russia would not accept any land as part of a settlement, especially in regard to Donbas, an eastern region of Ukraine which Russian forces have been focusing their efforts on seizing.

However, it is not clear whether Kyiv would accept the fact that Crimea remains under Russian control.

The suggestion was also criticised by Ukraine’s foreign minister. CNBC spoke Wednesday with Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister.

He said, “This isn’t something we are going to do.”

CNBC reported Wednesday by Mark Rutte of the Dutch Prime Minister on the Kissinger crisis. Rutte said it is almost impossible to state that one disagrees with Henry Kissinger, but that it would be difficult for someone like him to do so. “I’m afraid I must now declare on television that I do not agree with Henry Kissinger, if that is what he says.”

According to him, “For us, the territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ukraine stand above all other and it is up Volodymyr Zilenskyy the president of Ukraine and his team decide how they will handle the peace negotiations we hope to start one day,” he said to Steve Sedgwick at CNBC in Davos (Switzerland) during the World Economic Forum.