Kissinger warns of West’s ‘fatal mistake’ that may lead to new Cold War

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Reuters / Gero Breloer / Pool)
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has given a chilling assessment of a new geopolitical situation taking shape amid the Ukrainian crisis, warning of a possible new Cold War and calling the West’s approach to the crisis a “fatal mistake.”

The 91-year-old diplomat characterized the tense relations as exhibiting the danger of “another Cold War.”

“This danger does exist and we can't ignore it,” Kissinger said. He warned that ignoring this danger any further may result in a “tragedy,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel.

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If the West wants to be “honest,” it should recognize, that it made a “mistake,” he said of the course of action the US and the EU adopted in the Ukrainian conflict. Europe and the US did not understand the “significance of events” that started with the Ukraine-EU economic negotiations that initially brought about the demonstrations in Kiev last year. Those tensions should have served as a starting point to include Russia in the discussion, he believes.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

“At the same time, I do not want to say that the Russian response was proportionate,” the Cold War veteran added, saying that Ukraine has always had a “special significance” for Russia and failure to understand that “was a fatal mistake.”

Calling the sanctions against Moscow “counterproductive,” the diplomat said that they set a dangerous precedent. Such actions, he believes, may result in other big states trying to take “protective measures” and strictly regulate their own markets in future.

When introducing some sanctions or publishing lists of people whose accounts were frozen one should wonder “what will happen next?” the former Secretary of State said rhetorically, because when something begins you cannot lose sight of where it is going to end.

Kissinger also said he would expect more action from Berlin on matter. As the most “important” country in Europe it should be more “proactive” rather than reactive, he said.