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US, Russia compelled to work together on common strategic interests - Kissinger

May 27, 2013, 20:03 UTC+3

"Future developments will likely compel the United States and Russia to recognize and work together on their common strategic interests," he stressed

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WASHINGTON, May 27 (Itar-Tass) - Life will compel Russia and the United States to recognize the necessity of cooperation, Henry Kissinger, the patriarch of U.S. diplomacy and geostrategy, former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday, on the eve of his 90th birthday.

When asked about the current state of U.S.-Russian relations, Dr. Kissinger noted that the relations between the two countries “are now in one of those testy periods that they have experienced at times since the breakup of the Soviet Union.”

“Sources of the current tension include American criticism of Russia's domestic politics and the Kremlin’s vehement reaction to it, as well as Syria, Iran, and missile defense,” he said.

“Such a dynamic serves the long-term interests of neither country. Stereotypical thinking of the past needs to be overcome and a clear-eyed assessment of future challenges is imperative,” he stressed.

“In a world of increasing flux and uncertainty, the United States and Russia face a similar set strategic challenges, including building durable structures of regional security throughout Europe and Asia, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating nuclear terrorism, and maintaining strategic nuclear stability,” Dr. Kissinger noted. “None of these issues can the two countries resolve on their own or bilaterally - U.S.-Russian relations no longer define the global order as they did during the Cold War. But the two together can exercise leadership on all of them, as they are seeking to do on Syria today. Out of such cooperation a future new equilibrium will eventually emerge.”

“Future developments will likely compel the United States and Russia to recognize and work together on their common strategic interests,” he stressed and added that the essence of leadership “lies in anticipating those developments and acting on those interests before events compel cooperation.”

This year, Dr. Kissinger’s birthday coincides with the United States federal holiday, Memorial Day, which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. On this day, the United States pays tribute to its war heroes and veterans. Henry Kissinger is among them: at the end of WWII he served in the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps in Germany. Among other awards, he can boast to be the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

When asked about his birthday plans, Dr. Kissinger said, “I plan to celebrate quietly with my family on the birthday and at a large party for friends a few days later.”

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