QUESTION: Today many people are talking about Russian-American relations. What do you think is necessary to improve the two countries’ relations? Do you consider that Vice President Richard Cheney’s famous speech damaged relations?
FORMER U. S. SECREATARY OF STATE HENRY KISSINGER (back translation from Russian): First of all I would like to say that I am leaving Russia with a very positive feeling. President Putin and I just had a very friendly, warm meeting. My impression as I leave this country is that there are very significant opportunities for Russian-American cooperation and that next month, when the American and Russian presidents meet, progress will be made in many areas. I think that already in the near future we will be able to talk about the positive state of our relations.
I also think that we are adult enough to understand that that we can differ on certain issues. But our differences of opinion must not stand in the way of our efforts to achieve progress in international relations as a whole and in relations between our two countries. And the cooperation that we saw concerning Iran can, undoubtedly, be expanded into other areas.
QUESTION: Russia is now preparing for the G8 summit and do you think that the fact that Russia is a member of the G8 and holds the G8 presidency represents a victory for the international community? Or do you have some concerns regarding this issue?
HENRY KISSINGER: No, I don’t have any concerns regarding this issue. Russia fully deserves its G8 membership. Decisions that are taken by the G8 would not be possible without Russia’s participation.
QUESTION: What do you think about the fact that certain people express their concern regarding the condition of democracy in Russia?
HENRY KISSINGER: One must think about the evolution that takes place in any country. I have a very positive feeling regarding the evolution that is taking place in Russia. I participated in establishing the G8 in 1975. The issues that we discuss today are better solved thanks to Russia’s participation than those that we discussed in 1975.
QUESTION: Many political analysts predict that there will be a harsh discussion concerning Russian energy policy at the G8 summit. What position do you think the American administration will take on this issue?
HENRY KISSINGER: You must understand that I am simply a citizen and your question should be addressed to government representatives who would be better able to answer it. I am more concerned about the fact that at the summit in St Petersburg they will discuss issues linked with the energy security of all countries and not only one country’s energy policy.
Please excuse me but I must catch my plane. Allow me to use this opportunity to thank all those who gave me such a warm welcome in Moscow and especially here, in Novo-Ogaryovo. And I would like to say that each time I am in Russia I always have the impression that progress has been made during my absence. I will undoubtedly return to Russia again.
Thank you very much.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Today's newspaper coverage didn't make clear what Henry Kissinger had to say about his meeting yesterday in Moscow with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Luckily, the Kremlin put up an English-language transcript of the Q & A with the Russian press corps, so here it is: