One more educated opinion into the pot.
What Europeans decide to see in the Ukrainian revolution might in the end define Europe. The interwar European system was based on the principle of state sovereignty. No doubt this was an imperfect and incomplete moral and legal basis for international relations. And yet its violation meant the end of the system itself. When Europe’s leaders abandoned Austria in 1938, they were conceding to Hitler the right to define the new rules of the new order. The immediate consequences were clear enough. Without the protection of a state, Austria’s Jewish minority was subject to anti-Semitic violence. Once Austria had been abandoned, European leaders had little trouble betraying a country that truly deserved their support, democratic Czechoslovakia. Its dismemberment began later that same year. Once Europeans had the experience of allowing states to die they could do so again. By the time the great powers came to their senses in 1939 it was too late.
3. Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. Internationally, they should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.
How the Ukraine crisis ends
By Henry A. Kissinger, Published: March 6
Henry A. Kissinger was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.
Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.
Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.