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 ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE’s running mate, before she ultimately decided on Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems McConnell, Kaine introduce bill to raise tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 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.”