Ex-NATO commander: US should cooperate with Russia whenever possible

Ex-NATO commander: US should cooperate with Russia whenever possible
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The United States should confront Russia when necessary, but should look to cooperate with the country on issues of mutual interest, a former supreme commander who led NATO forces in Europe said Sunday.

“There are many zones of cooperation with Russia, including counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, the Arctic, arms control, trade, science, diplomacy – there are many ways we can cooperate,” retired Adm. James Stavridis said during an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

“So I would say we ought to keep our eyes open … recognize Putin will push hard around the edges of NATO," he continued. 

“We should confront where we must but cooperate wherever we can. I think that's the approach the Trump team will take."

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But Stavridis acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin would likely try to “push hard” against NATO, and said the U.S. should remain vigilant in its dealings with Moscow.

Stavridis was an early contender to serve as former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Hillary Clinton touts student suspended over crowded hallway photo: 'John Lewis would be proud' MORE’s running mate, before she ultimately decided on Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets USAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency MORE (D-Va.). The former NATO chief was also a rumored pick for Trump’s secretary of State, a nomination that eventually went to former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Still, Stavridis lauded Trump's Cabinet picks, setting aside particularly high praise for Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Tillerson, whom he said had a “deep, deep knowledge of some of the toughest areas of the world.”