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 July 24, 2023

The declassified letter from Richard Nixon to President Clinton is prophetic regarding Russia

A month prior to his death in April 1994, former President Richard Nixon penned a letter to then-President Bill Clinton in which he offered "wise counsel, especially with regard to Russia."

The Clinton presidential library has now declassified the contents of that letter, which appear prophetic, as Fox News reported.

Nixon gave a blunt assessment of the political situation in Russia in a seven-page letter dated March 21, 1994, which was discussed by history professor Luke Nichter in the Wall Street Journal.

In the letter, Nixon accurately predicted that relations between Moscow and Kyiv would deteriorate and that a leader like Vladimir Putin could come to power.

Nixon, who was 81 at the time, penned the letter concluding a two-week voyage to Russia and Ukraine.

Infamous for leaving the White House amid scandal in 1974, the former president's legacy also includes being the architect of détente with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Nixon became the first president of the United States to travel to Moscow in 1972, where he signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.

Nixon spent his post-presidential years traveling abroad on behalf of the United States and providing advice based on decades of experience to guide U.S. policy in the post-Cold War era.

Nixon viewed the survival of political and economic freedom in Russia as "the most important foreign policy concern for the remainder of the century."

In light of this knowledge, he informed Clinton that the fledgling democracy under former Russian President Boris Yeltsin was in peril.

"As one of Yeltsin’s first supporters in this country and as one who continues to admire him for his leadership in the past, I have reluctantly concluded that his situation has rapidly deteriorated since the elections in December, and that the days of his unquestioned leadership of Russia are numbered," Nixon wrote.

"His drinking bouts are longer and his periods of depression are more frequent. Most troublesome, he can no longer deliver on his commitments to you and other Western leaders in an increasingly anti-American environment in the Duma and in the country."

The former president advised Clinton to bolster American diplomatic representation in Kiev, recalling conversations with American merchants who complained that the embassy was "understaffed and inadequately led."

Nixon anticipated the dissolution of relations between Russia and Ukraine. He described the Ukrainian situation as "highly explosive."

"If it is allowed to get out of control," Nixon told Clinton, "it will make Bosnia look like a PTA garden party."

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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