Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Mattis: Russia tried to interfere in 2018 midterms

The Russian President Vladimir Putin The Russian President Vladimir Putin
Andrew Cummings | 05 December, 2018, 02:33

Mattis made the remarks at the Reagan National Defence Forum in Simi Valley, California, referring to the 2003 agreement between Russian Federation and Ukraine that allowed ships of both sides free passage through the Kerch Strait, which separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mattis' remarks come as President Donald Trump is meeting with fellow world leaders at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating an animosity against his people", Mattis said.

Mattis said the relationship between the United States and Russian Federation has "no doubt" worsened amid Russia's continued efforts to intervene in the USA electoral process. -Russian relationship has deteriorated over the last two years.

"This is a very complex situation because Mr. Putin is clearly a slow learner", Mattis said at a defence forum in California on Saturday, commenting on alleged Russian aggression.

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Mattis said, in the Indo-Pacific region, we keep our decades-old alliances strong by building new partnerships. "We will re-energize our arms control efforts, but the onus is on Russia", Mattis said.

In addition, Mattis said that Russian Federation attempted to intervene in the mid-term elections in the United States last month - just like in 2016. He added more generally, "It's his efforts to try to subvert democratic processes that must be defended".

The decision to scrap the meeting with Putin came shortly after Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of lying to Congress about a skyscraper project Trump was pursuing in Moscow during the 2016 US presidential race.

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said "this is probably the revelation of the day". Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the canceled Trump-Putin meeting a missed opportunity, saying it didn't "help settling a number of important worldwide problems".

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