Reports suggest that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has sought to advise President-elect Donald Trump on a rapprochement between the United States and Russia, and that a key aspect of that is encouraging Trump to accept Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
Crimea has a long complicated history, but has long served as the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. After the Ukraine Maidan Revolution ousted the pro-Russian government, Crimea seceded from Ukraine in 2014, and sought and gained accession into the Russian Federation. The Obama Administration vowed the US would never accept Crimea as part of Russia.
While Trump is eager to differentiate himself from Obama, such a reverse on Crimea would likely lead to a major backlash from Republican hawks, particularly in the Senate, who have been some of the leading proponents of a new Cold War. Kissinger, by contrast, is seen trying to prevent such a Cold War.
Those familiar with the effort say Kissinger’s effort centers on Ukraine, and would involve a “master plan” that he is drawing up on Ukraine, which would aim to end the ongoing Eastern Ukraine civil war, resolve the status of Crimea, and end the tensions at the Ukraine-Russia border.
That’s a tall order, and Ukraine’s Poroshenko government isn’t necessarily going to be on board, with the government seeking to blame “Russian aggression” for everything that goes wrong with Ukraine’s economy and international standing. Their government is so heavily built around the idea that World War 3 is imminent that such a rapprochement would be a major shock to every part of their policy.