Interfax: Kremlin chief of staff discusses Russian-U.S. relations with Kissinger

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

MOSCOW. Oct 28 (Interfax) – Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov discussed Russian-U.S. relations with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a meeting in Russia.

“I can’t say that Russian-U.S. relations are developing very smoothly and consistently, but anyway, the last meeting between our presidents in St. Petersburg showed that, if a constructive approach is taken to the resolution of very complicated problems, a compromise can be found even if there are differences,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov said he had met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns the week before to discuss the current state of Russian-U.S. bilateral relations and prospects for their development.

Kissinger mentioned Russia’s role in international processes. He also recalled his first book dealing with the end of the Napoleonic wars and Russia’s role in this process and pointed out that he himself fought in WWII and took part in the meeting of U.S. and Soviet troops on the Elbe River, Germany.

Kissinger pointed out that he has always believed that stable relations between Russia and the U.S. determine stability around the world and that any differences between national interests can always be overcome.

The former U.S. secretary of state said he is glad that he can visit Russia nowadays, when he is almost not engaged in politics. He said also that, before going to Moscow, he had talked with Burns, who told him about a constructive conversation with Ivanov.

The U.S. also believes that direct negotiations between the two presidents are a very good precedent and a good way for developing relations between the two countries, which play an important role for maintaining peace and stability, Kissinger said.

Kissinger thanked Ivanov for receiving him in the Kremlin at a non-working time on Saturday.

Ivanov pointed out that the 80th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the USSR and the U.S. is to be marked in less than a month. He recalled that Maxim Litvinov, the-then Soviet People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, said in a note concerning the restoration of diplomatic relations that the Soviet Union did not intend to interfere in the U.S. affairs.

Ivanov recalled some of Kissinger’s memorable quotes, including that regarding a crisis. “Considering that you will be in Moscow next week, there’ll be no crises. You wrote one day, ‘There can’t be a crisis next week, my schedule is already full’,” Ivanov said.