Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in an interview aired Sunday that he doesn’t think Russian president/prime minister/president again Vladimir Putin is anti-Western.
Rather, Kissinger said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” the former KGB operative is “above all, a patriot — a Russian patriot who feels humiliated by the experience of the ’90s, which were in the most formative period of his career.”
“He is not anti-Western,” Kissinger continued. “He — when I first met him, he was very anxious to have a kind of strategic partnership with the United States. He is very resentful of what he interprets as intervention in Russian domestic affairs and even more, of course, in what he may interpret and does interpret as some American tendencies to support his political opponents in order to encourage his overthrow.”
After President Obama’s attempts to hit the “reset” button with U.S.-Russia relations, Putin has steadily stepped up the anti-American rhetoric as the Kremlin has hampered efforts to rein in Syria and Iran at the United Nations.
“I believe that a dialogue is possible and that on specific issues, he can turn out to be a constructive partner,” Kissinger said.
When asked about the 2012 Republican primary candidates, he said he wouldn’t get into publicly analyzing the field.
“I will support the Republicans,” Kissinger said. “But that doesn’t mean that I support every argument that every candidate makes.”