Putin pays tribute to 'old friend' Henry Kissinger
Putin pays tribute to ‘old friend’ Henry Kissinger calling him a ‘wise and farsighted statesman’ in personal telegram to his widow Nancy
- Putin maintained a relationship with Kissinger since the 1990s when the pair first met in Russia, bonding over their careers in intelligence
Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the chorus of those paying tribute to Henry Kissinger after the powerhouse diplomat’s death at the age of 100 on Wednesday.
Putin wrote in a telegram to Kissinger’s widow, Nancy, that the former national security advisor was a ‘wise and farsighted statesman.’
‘The name of Henry Kissinger is inextricably linked with a pragmatic foreign policy line, which at one time made it possible to achieve détente in international tensions and reach the most important Soviet-American agreements that contributed to the strengthening of global security,’ Putin said.
‘I had the opportunity to personally communicate with this deep, extraordinary man many times, and I will undoubtedly retain the fondest memory of him.’
Kissinger pursued dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1970s that led to the first major nuclear arms control treaties between the two Cold War superpowers.
Putin pictured with Kissinger in Moscow in June 2017, the pair had maintained a friendship since the 1990s
Putin wrote in a telegram to Kissinger’s widow, Nancy, that the former national security advisor was a ‘wise and farsighted statesman’
Five decades on, the war in Ukraine has raised tensions between Moscow and Washington to their most acute point since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and the Kremlin has described the current state of relations as ‘below zero.’
Politico reported in 2016 that Kissinger and Putin first met each other in Russia in the 1990s.
The article said that the pair became closer over the years as US-Russian relations fell into disrepair. At the time of Trump’s election, Kissinger downplayed the allegations of Russian hacking.
Among their first interactions was Putin telling Kissinger: ‘I worked in intelligence.’ He replied: ‘All decent people got their start in intelligence. I did, too.’
In 2017, Putin received Kissinger in the Kremlin.
What the pair discussed exactly was not publicly revealed. Kissinger was in Russia for the Primakov Readings, an annual forum of experts, diplomats and politicians.
Their meeting came a month after Kissinger had met with then-President Donald Trump in the White House. A week after the Kissinger/Putin meeting, the Russian president met with Trump in Germany.
In 2017, Kissinger met with Putin just a week before the Russian president met then-President Donald Trump for the first time
In late 2022, Kissinger said in a piece for The Spectator that Ukraine should seek a peace agreement with Russia in the wake of Putin’s invasion
In late 2022, Kissinger said in a piece for The Spectator that Ukraine should seek a peace agreement with Russia in the wake of Putin’s invasion.
‘I have repeatedly expressed my support for the allied military effort to thwart Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.’
‘But the time is approaching to build on the strategic changes which have already been accomplished and to integrate them into a new structure towards achieving peace through negotiation,’ he wrote.
‘The preferred outcome for some is a Russia rendered impotent by the war. I disagree.’
‘For all its propensity to violence, Russia has made decisive contributions to the global equilibrium and to the balance of power for over half a millennium. Its historical role should not be degraded. Russia’s military setbacks have not eliminated its global nuclear reach, enabling it to threaten escalation in Ukraine,’ Kissinger added.
‘Mr. Kissinger still has not understood anything … neither the nature of this war, nor its impact on the world order,’ Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak,’ said in response.
‘The prescription that the ex-Secretary of State calls for, but is afraid to say out loud, is simple: appease the aggressor by sacrificing parts of Ukraine with guarantees of non-aggression against the other states of Eastern Europe,’ he continued.
This past June, Kissinger told Bloomberg in an interview that it would ‘improbable’ for Putin to remain in power if he was forced into a peace negotiation with Ukraine and the European Union.
He expressed at hope that Russia’s relations with the west were still salvageable.
‘I believe that this war will, if it’s ended properly, make it achievable,’ he said.
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