Trump foreign policy adviser has advice for Russian grads

July 8, 2016
Carter Page, an adviser to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the graduation ceremony for the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 8, 2016. Page is a former investment banker who previously worked in Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — One of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers on Friday offered some advice to graduates of the prestigious New Economic School in Moscow, a city where he once worked as an investment banker.

While Carter Page insisted he came to Russia as a “private citizen and entrepreneur,” his visit attracted attention after Trump named him to his team of foreign policy advisers.

Speaking at the same school where President Barack Obama gave a commencement address in 2009 and asked the Russian people to “forge a lasting partnership” with the U.S., Page had little to say about U.S. foreign policy toward Russia. He has been critical in past writings, however, and on Friday stated that many of the “mistakes” that have spoiled relations between the U.S. and Russia since the end of the Cold War “originated in my own country.”

In what he called a “related idea,” Page said “the common denominator between our two countries is the level of disinformation that’s often led to unfortunate mistakes.”

He ended his address by offering the graduates a number of life tips, such as:

“If you don’t treat others with respect, they won’t treat you with respect. This applies not only on a personal level and the daily lives of individuals but especially when we venture out into the international arena.”

Page now heads his own firm, Global Energy Capital. While working for Merrill Lynch in Moscow in the 2000s, he says he advised the Russian state natural gas monopoly Gazprom on major deals.