RUSSIALINK: “Mikhail Gorbachev: Moscow and Washington can build a dialogue based on trust, although this will be complicated” – Interfax

File Photo of Geneva, Lake and Mountains, adapted from image at usmission.gov

(Interfax – May 28, 2021)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden will meet in Geneva on June 16. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev told Interfax special correspondent Vyacheslav Terekhov in an interview that the main task the two presidents will have to address is restoring strategic stability.

Question: Numerous attempts by the previous U.S. administration to hold a Russian-U.S. summit either ended in failure or did not yield results. How do you view the upcoming meeting?

Answer: Of course, we all remember the previous attempts, but the White House has a different president now, one with whom things can be agreed on. It is necessary to build trust. The previous team proved unreliable. Regrettably this is so. But now we need to talk, to argue, and eventually this will yield a positive result. We will get there, but it will be hard to achieve, this is complicated.

Q.: What was your reaction to the news that the meeting will take place in Geneva?

A.: One of contentment. This is a U.S.-Russia summit! Let me mention that the announced agenda is huge. The presidents have plenty to talk about, especially given that a great deal has been ruined as far as strategic stability is concerned. This now needs to be restored.

Q.: Is it possible?

A.: Russia and the U.S. can build a dialogue based on trust. This is needed to restore strategic stability.

Q.: The agenda includes regional conflicts as well. Will this topic become a barrier to a dialogue based on trust?

A.: As regards the settlement of regional conflicts, this problem is difficult to solve, it’s complicated. They involve a motley crew of people who sometimes create such a mess they can’t sort it out. But they have to. Regional disputes, one should understand, cannot be resolved quickly. But they must be, because there, too, people need to live in peace and trust.

Q.: Trust, trust, trust…

A.: Yes, you can’t get anywhere without trust. I must say that trust should come from above, and this requires meetings. I once said in an interview with you and will repeat it again and again, don’t be afraid of negotiations. You have to meet.

[article also appeared at interfax.com/newsroom/exclusive-interviews/71883/]