Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

U.S. Defense Chief Accuses Putin Of 'Duplicitous' Action On Missile Treaty

U.S. Defense Chief Accuses Putin Of 'Duplicitous' Action On Missile Treaty

-Russian relationship has deteriorated over the last two years.

"We are dealing with someone that we simply can not trust, he said, noting that Russia's "actions speak louder than words". And we are seeing a continued effort along those lines", Mattis said, adding that the United States would take whatever steps were necessary to defend American democracy.

Mattis accused Putin of undermining democratic processes in the United States that the Russian leader is conducting by interfering in elections.

Mattis also touched on the situation in the Kerch Strait with Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors, which the US President Donald trump has canceled a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

It was the first open military confrontation between the rivals since 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and pro-Russian separatists in the east entered into conflict with Ukrainian forces. It also has prompted global concern and renewed Western criticism of Russian Federation.

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Mattis, in a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library and during a question-and-answer session afterward, was unyielding in his criticism of Putin.

"Mr. Putin is clearly a slow learner".

"It is regrettable that we can't succeed in holding a full-scale meeting, which is long due", Putin said, adding that issues of strategic stability would be of paramount importance. He recognizes that what he does is actually creates hostility against his people. "He's not acting in the best interests of the Russian people, and he is actually causing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to rearm and to strengthen the democracies' stance, the unified stance of all the democracies together".

Mattis also touched on the USA intention to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the US says Russian Federation is violating, according to a transcript provided in advance. Moscow denies any violation.

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