According to the diplomat, the US is continuously focused on practical areas, where the two countries could cooperate, including in arms control, on Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran, and also as regards bilateral economic relations.
And this will not change, he added. Today in Berlin, John Kerry is due to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The two will concentrate on the situation around the adopted Russian children in the United States and on a settlement in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to meet in Berlin on February 26, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Thursday.
"A meeting of Russian Federation Foreign Minister Lavrov and US Secretary of State Kerry will take place in Berlin on February 26," it said.
"The countries' highest-ranking diplomats will discuss a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda and key international problems," the ministry said.
Kerry will visit the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as part of his first foreign trip as US secretary of state from February 24 to March 6.
Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax
Alexei Lyakhov, Andrey Fedyashin
The new US Secretary of State John Kerry has hinted that during Barack Obama’s second presidential term, the US’s foreign policy will change to the side of the so-called “soft power”.
Mr. Kerry said this during his speech in the Virginia University on February 20, which was his first public speech since he was appointed Secretary of State.
In fact, only a few points in Mr. Kerry’s speech were directly linked with the US’s foreign policy. The speech was addressed, first of all, to representatives of the Republican Party in the Congress.
In his speech, the new State Secretary made rather transparent hints that the main obstacle for success of US diplomacy is not China’s foreign policy or instability in the Middle East, but… the activities of the US Congress. Until the Congress manages to settle the country’s financial problems, the US’s prestige in the world will only decrease, Mr. Kerry believes.
The State Secretary also believes that the “traditional” US practice of solving problems (or what is perceived as problems by US politicians) in various parts of the world with military force is practically always more expensive for the US than trying to solve these problems by diplomatic means. Thus, the US authorities should not be afraid of financing the country’s diplomatic institutions more generously – in any case, this would be cheaper than post factum attempts to correct mistakes of diplomacy by military means, Mr. Kerry is convinced.
Russian analyst Andrey Kortunov comments on this:
“I won’t say that the fact that Mr. Kerry is calling on the US authorities to solve problems in various parts in the world by diplomacy rather than by force is a cardinal change in the US foreign policy. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Barack Obama promised that under him, the US’s foreign policy would be less aggressive than it was under George W. Bush. However, during his first presidential term, he – either because of certain objective reasons or something else – didn’t fulfill this promise to the full. Now, Mr. Obama has nothing to lose, because, in any case, this is his last presidential term – and now, he can afford a milder foreign policy.”
John Kerry is right – the former policy of “tough power” turned out to be too expensive for the US. For example, in 2012, the US authorities had to allocate as much as $ 115 bln for the war in Afghanistan, while the State Department and the Agency for International Development (a US institution which renders help to developing countries), in total, received only $ 51 bln.