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US, Russia need strong dialogue at political level, says former Russian minister

October 07, 2014, 4:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
He called the current situation between the U.S. and Russia one of the worst periods in the history of relationship between these two countries since its inception
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© Archive/ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

WASHINGTON, September 7. /TASS/. Rearing of a strong dialogue at the political level suits the interest of both the U.S. and Russia, former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Monday at a research conference organized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.

He called the current situation between the U.S. and Russia one of the worst periods in the history of relationship between these two countries since its inception, not only after the end of Cold War.

Ivanov, who heads the Russian International Affairs Council, pointed out the absence of practical channels for discussion or dialogue at the political level.

If the two sides really want international stability and we should, they then should rear a dialogue and attain mutual understanding, he said.

He also voiced the hope that civic society and nongovernmental organizations in Russia and the U.S. could play a special role in it.

Many people say Russia cannot live without the U.S. in the same measure that the U.S. cannot live without Russia and this is true, Ivanov said. In fact, they can but this does not mean it would be good for them because they have common problems and threats they should fight with.

At the current stage, Russia and the U.S. need each other as never before, Ivanov said, adding that they stand in need of earnest discussions of a range of things at the political level.

He recalled that the world would mark two crucial dates in 2015 - the seventieth anniversary since the foundations of the United Nations and the fortieth anniversary since the signing of the Helsinki Act and these might offer fair grounds for considering what could be done in the 21st century in terms of observance of international law.

Jane Harman, the President of the Woodrow Wilson Center said on her part that relations between the U.S. and Russia and the prospects for building a better partnership formed a key issue existing at the moment.

She admitted that the U.S.-Russian relations were in the “worst shape” since the Cold War and hence it was as important now as never before to understand how the two countries could continue moving forward.

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