US Secretary of Defense: Vladimir Putin is "slow learner"

Larry Hoffman
December 5, 2018

He recognizes that what he does is actually creates hostility against his people.

"But we do not accept predatory economic practices or coercion of smaller states", Mattis said.

In his comments December 1, Jim Mattis also asserted that Moscow had tried to interfere in last month's midterm congressional elections.

Russia said the Ukrainian ships had breached the Russian border and conducted risky movements in spite of Russia's orders.

"No doubt the relationship has worsened", Mattis said about the relationship between the USA and Russian Federation.

On Beijing, Mattis said the U.S.is seeking a "constructive reciprocal, results-oriented" relationship. Putin has "continued efforts to try to subvert democratic processes that must be defended", Mattis said, stressing he was unsure whether there were growing threats from Russian Federation.

The revelation comes just days after President Donald Trump canceled a formal sit-down meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina this weekend.

"This is a very complex situation because clearly Mr. Putin is a slow learner", Mattis said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said the Ukraine events were the only reason Trump canceled his planned formal meeting with Putin in Argentina, not developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

With such a harsh statement against Putin were made by the Pentagon chief James Mattis for the security forum in California, according to ONLINE.UA with reference to AFP. "He is not acting in the best interest of the Russian people".

Mattis did not mention directly the administration's intention to withdraw from the treaty, saying instead, "We will re-energize our arms control efforts, but the onus is on Russian Federation".

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