President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Kissinger!
I am very glad to see you again in Moscow and to once again have the opportunity to meet and talk with you. Before we start our discussion I want to congratulate you on the birthday you just celebrated and to thank you for your continuing interest in Russian-American relations.
I want to say that based on the relations that you established during your time as state secretary, our countries’ relations have developed successfully. Of course there are nuances but the real content of our relations is changing for the better. We are developing our economic ties; the volume of our trade is growing constantly. And we see our partners’ interest in various aspects of our cooperation in this sphere, first and foremost in the energy sector. We are strengthening our cooperation in the international arena. Our points of view do not always coincide but we understand each other and find compromises. The latest steps we took concerning Iran bear witness to this. Of course, our cooperation in the fight against terrorism remains as topical as ever. I just spoke on the telephone with the President of the United States yesterday. We are in constant contact, both at various levels and between departments.
I am very glad to see you in Moscow and I know that you maintain relations with many American public organizations and with the present administration. I would be very interested to hear your opinion on problems that concern the whole international community and to discuss Russian-American relations.
FORMER U. S. SECRETARY OF STATE HENRY KISSINGER (Back translation): Mr President, please allow me to express the same feelings that you just mentioned – they reflect the interest and importance given to Russian-American cooperation and partnership. I am not a part of this administration but I often have the opportunity to speak with the leaders of our country. I know that our leaders greatly value our cooperation, cooperation that was particularly visible in the agreements that six of the world’s largest powers reached concerning Iran. I know the importance of Russia’s role in helping reach these agreements. When I was in the government I always supported the idea that Russia and the USA must not be enemies and that, on the contrary, they must cooperate. And I wholeheartedly believe that the forthcoming meeting between you and President George W. Bush will act as an important next step in this direction. I shall try to do what I can to help you in this and to share some of my ideas with you.