US President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next US Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, told a Senate panel on Thursday that the United States must find a way to work with Russia.
“I would like to see if we can find some way to cooperate,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his confirmation hearing.
In discussing US relations with Russia, Kerry said “it would be disingenuous and naive of me to sit here and not acknowledge to my colleagues that that slid backwards in recent years.”
Kerry also discussed Russia’s recent decision to ban adoptions of Russian children by US citizens, saying “everybody here knows that they warned us and said ‘if you do X,Y or Z on such-and-such a thing we may respond’ – and we’ve gotten into that little back-and-forth. So we’re going to have to work our way through it. I’m confident we can.”
Kerry mentioned several areas where Russia has cooperated with the US on key issues including nuclear arms control, sanctions on Iran and trade. “I would also say that with respect to Russia, Russia has helped on a number of different things that are critical to us, and people should not overlook them.”
Kerry also said he would like to find a way to cooperate with Russia on ending the civil war in Syria.
If confirmed by the US Senate as expected, Kerry would replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has decided to step down.