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article imageOp-Ed: Putin sees US Russia relations worsening by the hour

By Ken Hanly     Jun 14, 2019 in Politics
US and Russian relations have soured in recent years. The Obama administration pared back ties. While Trump appears to be personally friendly to Putin and wanted to improve relations this has not happened even though some consider Trump a Putin stooge.
Putin claims relations with the US worsening by the hour
Putin made the comments on state TV. The comments contrast starkly with those he made about improving Russia-China trade ties. In 2019 Russian trade with China has already passed the target by $8 billion.
Russia angry at US military deployment in Poland
Russia issued a statement critical of the move: "The Russian foreign ministry slammed the US-Polish agreement on Thursday as a dangerous move that would “add to military and political tensions in Europe”, and leave Moscow with no choice but to retaliate. In an angry statement the ministry accused the US of violating a 1997 Russia-Nato Foundation Act that called for the two sides to co-operate and exercise military restraint in Europe."
US and Russia differ on numerous issues
The US has withdrawn from the P5+1 nuclear treaty with Iran. This has exacerbated US relations with Iran and may sabotage the treaty for the rest of those still involved. The US has threatened nations that do no go along with US sanctions on Iran. Russia has warned the US about escalating threats against Iran. The hawks within the US administration such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo seem to override any dovish moves Trump attempts to make.
Russia warns not to use oil tanker attacks as an excuse for escalation against Iran
A recent article notes: "Russia on Thursday warned against rushing to attribute blame for a suspected attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and said the incident should not be used to stoke tensions with Tehran, Russia’s RIA news agency reported."
Two oil tankers were attacked with both adrift and one ablaze. The attacks drove oil prices as much as 4 percent higher on worries about Middle East supplies. The attacks were the second within a month near the Strait of Hormuz a major strategic waterway though which pass global oil supplies.
US blames Iran immediately
The US immediately did exactly what Russia had warned against doing by blaming Iran for the attacks: "US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the assessment was based on intelligence, but presented no evidence to support his claim. Pompeo spoke hours after the two tankers were attacked Thursday and less than a month after four other ships in the region were struck in what appears to be a similar way. “It is the assessment by the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today," Pompeo told reporters at the US State Department.""
The US or one of its allies such as Saudi Arabia or Israel could have launched a "false flag" attack to justify use of the US forces amassed against Iran in the area. They were brought there on the premise of an unspecified increased threat from Iran. Lo and behold the threat becomes a reality.
In spite of present worsening relations and heavy sanctions , in the appended video interview Putin sees better relations with the US over the longer term.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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