US Defence Secretary flays Russian Federation over Ukraine confrontation

Posted December 05, 2018

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday blasted Moscow following the Russian navy's "brazen" violation of a waterway treaty with Kiev and the seizure of three Ukrainian vessels.

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.

"He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people", Mattis said.

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

Speaking of a 2003 agreement governing the Kerch Strait between the Azov Sea and Black Sea, Mattis said Moscow had shown "brazen contempt and dismissal" for the deal "that allowed both Russian and Ukrainian ships free passage".

That comment reiterated those he made several days prior that Russia's attack upon and seizure of three Ukrainian ships violated global law. "He tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines". However, Mattis said that he didn't think the threat from Russian Federation to American elections had increased.

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Saturday he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin again tried to meddle in US elections.

On Beijing, Mattis said the U.S.is seeking a "constructive reciprocal, results-oriented" relationship.

"Mr. Putin clearly comes tight". 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. 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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