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West, Russia Should Develop Strategic Partnership - Former NATO Chief

© Sputnik / Vladimir Sergeev / Go to the photo bankFlags of Russia, EU, France and coat of arms of Nice on the city's promenade
Flags of Russia, EU, France and coat of arms of Nice on the city's promenade - Sputnik International
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The West and Russia should establish strategic relations that will be beneficial to both sides, former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Rasmussen, who is a non-staff adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said in June that he was ready to meet with Russian officials at any level.

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"I still think we should develop a strategic partnership," Rasmussen stated on Thursday. "Both Russia and the West would profit from cooperating. I still think a partnership would be a right approach."

The former NATO chief noted on Thursday that he has not met with Russian officials as of now.

"I didn’t, and they didn’t contact me," Rasmussen said. "But still, if they want to meet, I am willing to meet them any time."

When asked what issues he will raise with Russian officials if such meetings occur, Rasmussen said in general terms he would mention he thinks it would be good to establish a strategic partnership.

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"But in more concrete terms, I would have to raise with them Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Georgia, all the other Russian violations of international law."

In 2014, Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in 2014 amid the crisis in Ukraine, where Kiev forces are fighting pro-independence militias in the country's southeast.

The United States and the European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over Moscow's alleged meddling in the Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia.

Russia has repeatedly refuted the accusations, and warned that the sanctions are counterproductive and undermine regional and global stability.

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