After U.S. President Donald J. Trump held his Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak on May 10, White House pool reporters were invited to what they expected would be a photo opportunity with Lavrov.
The U.S. press had been excluded from the meeting. Only a photographer from Kremlin news agency TASS had been present. It was only because photographs of a grinning Trump and Kislyak were released by the Russians later that it even became known that Kislyak had attended the meeting.
However, it was not Lavrov whom the press pool found sitting next to Trump in the Oval Office, but Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State under former U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Given that Trump had the day before fired F.B.I. Director James Comey, who was investigating the Trump campaign team for its links to Russia, seeing Kissinger sitting next to Trump shocked some reporters..
But Ukrainians, seeing Kissinger in cahoots with Trump, would have made other associations. The architect of U.S. “realpolitik,” including détente with the Soviet Union, Kissinger, who is reported to be giving a speech on June 30 in Moscow on U.S.-Russian relations, has proved over the years to have no allegiance to the principles of the will of the people or even democracy.
He proved it again in December, when he was reported to have advised then President-elect Trump to accept Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation, via a sham referendum, of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Kissinger thinks he United States should try to mend relations with Russia, damaged badly by the Crimean invasiona and Russia’s ongoing war in the Donbas.
Journalists later reported that Kissinger had had several meetings with Trump during the November-to-January transitional period. After being out of presidential affairs for the eight years of the Obama presidency, Kissinger again has the ear of the White House. And in that ear he will no doubt whisper his “realpolitik” — the will of the people of Ukraine, including Crimeans, can be ignored for the sake of better U.S. relations with Russia.
So Kissinger, who prolonged the Vietnam War and likely scuttled a peace agreement so that his friend Richard Nixon could be elected president in 1967, is a loathsome senior figure. He in no way can be counted as a friend of Ukraine. He aligns with the interests of the dictator in the Kremlin, Ukraine’s enemy. Come pick up your Order of Lenin, Henry, I’m sure you and Vladimir Putin can get together soon and have a good cry over the demise of the Soviet Union 26 years ago. Order of Lenin