Said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda is “counterproductive for U.S. interests” and said there is “very little” for President Trump and Putin to discuss unless Trump is willing to make a “very bad deal” for the United States.
In a video interview on Capitol Hill, Kasparov was asked if he had any advice for Trump before he meets with Putin face-to-face.
Kasparov, often referred to as the best professional chess player in history, suggested that President Trump’s team “lay down certain conditions for Russia to meet” before any meeting takes place with Putin.
“Before Trump and his team sit with Putin and Putin’s henchmen, they have to realize there’s very little they can discuss because Putin’s agenda is so counterproductive for U.S. interests,” Kasparov, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, said after testifying at the Senate Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues Subcommittee hearing on “Democracy and Human Rights: The Case for U.S. Leadership.”
“Unless Mr. Trump is willing to make a really bad deal, which I hope will not fit his philosophy that he has been promoting over decades as a great deal maker, again, there is very little discuss. I think the best America can do is to simply lay down certain conditions for Russia to meet before such meeting takes place,” he added.
Trump has often said it would be a “positive thing” if the United States got along with Russia. Kasparov said President Trump’s effort to improve relations with Russia might be a “noble goal,” but he recommended Trump consider the price the U.S. would have to pay for a better relationship.
“Ideally, the United States could look for good relationships with most nations that are not posing an immediate threat – I’m not by the way sure that Russia belongs to this group of nations because we’ve already saw Russian attempts to interfere with U.S. elections, to meddle with this process, and under Mr. Putin’s rule, Russia has been steadily attacking U.S. interests elsewhere,” he said.
“Again, trying to improve relations could be a noble goal, the question is, what price are you going to pay? If the price will be the borders of Ukraine, a nation that has been invaded by Putin, if the price is security and potentially political independence of NATO members like Estonia and Lithuania, if the price is the deterioration of the U.S. reputation worldwide because the U.S. may not look as reliable as an ally for the countries that have been working with the United States for decades, then the price is simply too high,” he added.
Kasparov was asked if he thinks the United States should try to break Russia’s alliance with Iran. In response, Kasparov said Russia, Iran and North Korea have to maintain their “anti-American” agenda because they have nothing to offer their citizens that could compete with the U.S.
“They are all facing the same challenge – if they abandon their anti-American agenda, if they abandon their confrontation with the free world, there’s nothing they can offer to the people because they cannot compete with the United States – they cannot compete with the European Union on innovations, on the economy, on Social Security, on other human services for their people, but they can compete and actually have an upper hand by sacrificing their own people,” Kasparov said.
“For us, people in the civilized world, every human loss is a big tragedy. For them, killing a million people is just a demonstration of strength so that’s why Putin and the Iranian Mullahs – they have a very strong bond based on their rejection of the values of the free world. So, that’s why trying to separate them just simply ignores the fact that they feel much more comfortable being together,” he added.
Kasparov continued, “Even if they do certain things that may look like contractions, I think it will be a trick just to, sort of, gain more concessions from America and from the free world and eventually get together again to attack our interests.”
Nicholas Ballasy is a political correspondent and analyst based in Washington, D.C. known for conducting on-camera interviews with an array of national political figures and celebrity activists about the most pressing issues facing the country. His work has been cited by CNN, Fox News, The Drudge Report, NBC News, MSNBC, ABC News, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, the Washington Post and others.