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US, Russia should co-operate in global security, despite Ukraine disagreement

March 28, 2014, 12:26 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
“We should not lose sight of areas of common interest where cooperation remains crucial to the security of Russia, Europe and the United States,” US former Secretary of State George Schultz believes
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© AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

WASHINGTON, March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States should not be guided by the ‘cold war’ psychology and should not refuse from co-operation with Russia in the sphere of global security, despite the sharp disagreement over the situation around Ukraine. Washington should continue interaction with Moscow on matters of common interest, as well as on Iran and Syria. This view was expressed in an article posted on The Washington Post website by US former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Senator Democrat Sam Nunn who in the early 1990s had worked out with his Republican colleague Richard Lugar a programme of assistance to Russia in the liquidation of its stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Denouncing Russia’s actions towards Ukraine and supporting the economic pressure measures against Moscow, the authors at the same time note that the West should not “freeze cooperation in all spheres” with its eastern neighbour as it had happened during the ‘cold war period.’

“Although current circumstances make it difficult, we should not lose sight of areas of common interest where cooperation remains crucial to the security of Russia, Europe and the United States,” Schultz and Lugar write. According to them, “This includes securing nuclear materials - the subject of this week’s summit in the Netherlands - and preventing catastrophic terrorism, as well as destroying Syrian chemical stockpiles and preventing nuclear proliferation by Iran and others.”

“We should also focus on building a framework for mutual transatlantic security by applying a cooperative and transparent approach to the region’s security challenges and building trust over time,” the authoritative American politicians believe. They urge the US administration to “engage with Russia against the background of realism and development of our strengths and our agenda.” “We can use our strategic advantages, combined with a desire to see Russia as part of a prosperous world dominated by representative governments. But our willingness to use our assets with a steady hand and to vigorously pursue our strategy must also be clear. With all due respect to the importance of tactical moves, this is the time for strategic thinking and implementing a strategic design. It is also a time for maximising cooperation at home and with our allies abroad. Our hand is strong if we play it wisely,” they believe.

Judging by the recent steps of the Barack Obama administration, it has chosen the approach of which the former US state secretary and senator write in their article. Having suspended contacts with Moscow within the Group of Eight (G8) framework, in the military sphere, in combating drug trafficking and in a number of others, Washington at the same time has openly declared an interest in continuing co-operation on Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. Also, there are major projects, for example, the International Space Station (ISS) where the joint work of the two countries cannot be stopped even for a while. The ‘cold war’ revival is also out of the question, as Obama has stated in his speech in Brussels. However, the common space for US-Russian interaction as a result of their disagreement over Ukraine has certainly become considerably narrower.

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