Both President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have suggested they would like to improve U.S.-Russia relations — but one top Republican lawmaker is warning Trump about trying another “reset” with Russia.
THE LAST RESET — Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov press a red button symbolizing the intention to reset US-Russian relations in March 2009. AP photo
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday in the wake of more Russian airstrikes in Syria that the U.S. should not place substantial “faith” in Putin’s desire to improve relations.
“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” he wrote in a statement. “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.
In the wake of Mr. Trump’s election, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Trump and Putin are “very much alike” in their worldviews and said Russia hopes “for their good personal relationship.” Putin and Mr. Trump spoke by phone Monday.
McCain added that Putin “has rejoined [Syrian President] Bashar Assad in his barbaric war against the Syrian people.” He cautioned that previous attempts at a Russian “reset” — most recently, that of President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 — did not work, so there’s little reason to hope a Trump-led effort would have a different result.
“The Obama Administration’s last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East,” McCain said. “At the very least, the price of another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people. That is an unacceptable price for a great nation.”
Ralph Peters said on the Fox News Channel on Wednesday, November 16, 2016: “Vladimir Putin grades Russia’s success by its ability to destroy U.S. aims in the world.”
How has President Obama done in his dealings with Vladimir Putin?
Aleppo — People carry an injured boy after Russian forces staged air-strike over Aleppo’s opposition controlled Sukkeri region, Syria on April 28, 2016. (Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and armed forces Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov observe troops in action during a training exercise at the Donguz testing range in Orenburg region, Russia, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool
Aleppo — The aftermath of airstrikes in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, on Monday, October 17, 2016. Credit Karam Al-Masri, AFP, Getty Images
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