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.