"Henry Kissinger, the grand old man of American realpolitik, has stepped into the growing breach in Russian-U.S. relations, holding a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the White House in Moscow on Friday. The two men, who are “old friends” and have met eight or 10 times since the early 1990s, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, talked over Russian-U.S. relations and “a range of global issues..... Kissinger, a former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, has acted as a semiofficial go-between between U.S. presidents and world leaders over the decades. He has held talks with every Russian leader since Brezhnev. A day before the meeting with Putin, Kissinger met with beleaguered U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul – who provoked controversy by meeting with opposition protest leaders on his second working day in the Russian capital. McFaul wrote on his blog Thursday that Kissinger was “back in Moscow to continue the kind of strategic dialogue with the Russian government that is so important to our partnership.” The American Embassy in Moscow did not respond to e-mailed questions to McFaul about his talks with Kissinger by press time Monday. Also on Friday, Kissinger spoke to a group of Sberbank’s board members and leading customers in Moscow. Kissinger spoke about the need for Russia and the U.S. to cooperate in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons – particularly in North Korea and Pakistan, Sberbank’s website reported. “Kissinger regularly plays the role of elder statesman to ensure smooth relations between the U.S. and countries with which it is unlikely ever to have a close, friendly relationship but with which it wants to maintain a cooperative relationship,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at investment bank Troika Dialog, told The Moscow News on Monday. “China and Russia are the two most important countries on that list currently.”Which explains a lot about where we are at with our relations with rest of the world.