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Putin, Trump phone call can reject false assumption about conflicting interests - Matlock

January 28, 2017, 20:37 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow hopes the presidents will acknowledge that "there are compelling reasons for the United States and Russia to cooperate in solving common problems"

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WASHINGTON, January 28. /TASS/. Presidents of Russia and the United States Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump can reject the false assumption that the fundamental interests of the countries are in conflict during the telephone call planned for Saturday, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Jack F. Matlock said in a note addressed to presidents published on his website.

According to Matlock who served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 until 1991, the relations between the two countries "have reached a state that is dangerous for both our countries and, in fact, the entire world". "One brief conversation cannot resolve the contentions issues, but it can reject the widespread but false assumption that the fundamental interests of our two countries are in conflict," he said.

Matlock hopes the presidents will acknowledge that "there is no good reason to consider their countries enemies", though "there are compelling reasons for the United States and Russia to cooperate in solving common problems". Also, the presidents should "recognize that a nuclear war would be catastrophic for humanity, must never be fought, and that their countries bear a special responsibility to cooperate to reduce the nuclear danger and prevent further proliferation," ex-ambassador wrote. He also urged Putin and Trump to begin, "on an urgent basis, consultations with each other and with allies and neighbors regarding ways in which current confrontations could be replaced by cooperation".

The continuation of sanctions imposed by the United States against Russia is the issue that "will inevitably arise," Matlock said. "In my view, these sanctions are now doing more harm than good, but I would hope that decisions regarding them would be made in concert with U.S. allies, who have been pressed by the United States to adopt them," he wrote. "Perhaps President Trump could state that he agrees that sanctions are incompatible with the sort of relationship he seeks with Russia, and he intends to explore ways to create conditions that make them unnecessary," he added.

Jack Matlock served as Ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1981-1983, and Special Assistant to President Reagan in 1983-1986.

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