March 12, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says Russian President Vladimir Putin is a patriot who could be a constructive partner of the United States.
He said Putin "could prove to be a constructive partner of the United States on certain issues".
Kissinger believes that Putin is not anti-Western, and that in meetings, he was always prepared for a strategic partnership with Washington.
"He was, above all, a Russian patriot who feels humiliated by the experience of the 1990s, which was the most important period in the formation of his career," 88-year-old Kissinger told CNN in an interview.
He said that Putin was "very bitter when it comes to something he considers an interference in the internal affairs of Russia and, even more when it comes to what is interpreted as an American effort to support his political opponents to encourage his overthrow from power" .
"I believe, however, that dialogue is possible and that on specific issues he (Putin) can turn out to be a constructive partner," said Kissinger.