Sunday, 20 July 2008

Kissinger’s Russian Relationship Should Concern Congress

Written by  The New American

Henry KissingerFormer Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in Moscow on June 17 to meet with newly installed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, making Kissinger the first American to have an audience with Vladimir Putin’s protégé and personally selected successor. “I have followed with great interest your becoming president and the plans you have put forward in some of your speeches,” the Russian press reported Kissinger as saying to Medvedev. “I wish you every success. It is important for Russia and important for the world.” Although it has not been reported, Dr. Kissinger undoubtedly also met with former President Vladimir Putin — who has now assumed the position of prime minister — and Yevgeny Primakov, the former foreign minister, prime minister, KGB chief, and supervisor of Soviet Mideast terrorism operations.

Although virtually unreported in the U.S. press, Kissinger’s many secretive trips to Russia over the past few years have received considerable coverage in the Russian media. In April 2007, Kissinger led a delegation of American business moguls and former U.S. government officials to Moscow for a secret meeting with Putin, Primakov, and other top Russian officials at Putin’s home. Putin appointed Kissinger and Primakov to co-chair a new panel called “Russia-USA: A Look Into the Future,” which, reportedly, will focus on strategic global security issues.

According to Russian media reports, Kissinger said he had the “go-ahead’ from President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the new Putin appointment. If true, it still may not exempt him from the Logan Act, which prohibits private U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. If Kissinger has been given special ambassadorial powers by the White House, it has not been submitted to the Senate for approval.

The Kissinger-Primakov relationship should be of particular concern, since the 79-year-old Primakov provides one of the most important ongoing links between the old Soviet Union and Putin’s Russia. Primakov, who began his communist career under Stalin, is the recognized eminence griese in the political circles of today’s Kremlin.