"We do not consider Russia as a rival to the United States either in security or in the economy. President Obama favours relations that would benefit both countries rather than force a 'zero-sum game' on them, as during the Cold War," according to a Russian-language transcript of McFaul's speech at a seminar of the Moscow School of Political Studies.
Having "better relations with Russia" is in Washington's national interests, McFaul said. "We believe so, and are working towards this goal," he added.
McFaul cited nuclear arms control, and the situations in North Korea, Iran, and also Afghanistan, especially after the planned US troop withdrawal in 2014, as among the global issues that Moscow and Washington need to address together.