Russia not out to improve relations

Takes combative stance against U.S. around globe

As “welcome” as a bone-chilling blast from a mid-March nor’easter, more bad news continues to blow our way out of Moscow, minimizing the possibility of a springtime thaw in U.S.-Russia relations.

And I’m not talking about any of the U.S. domestic issues that have been in the headlines lately, such as charges against Russian FSB intelligence operatives for hacking Yahoo email accounts.

Nor am I talking about matters you’re already aware of – such as the scene in Syria where Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing the Damascus regime in the civil war, or the unsettling situation in Ukraine where a Moscow-backed insurgency is tearing the country apart.

This news goes beyond that:

Arms Control: The Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed publicly the suspicion that the Russians were violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty that limits nuclear-capable missiles in Europe.

Occupation of Georgia: Most people don’t realize it, but Russian troops are still in the “breakaway” Georgian province of South Ossetia almost a decade after the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.

Taliban and Afghanistan: As you know, we’ve been fighting in Afghanistan since shortly after 9/11 – almost 16 years now. It’s one of our longest wars and we’re still battling the Taliban and other violent Islamist extremists there.

It turns out that Russia is now involved with our enemy, the Taliban, according to our commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Nicholson, who made the disclosure in troubling congressional testimony last month.

Nicholson sees the Russian assertion as a self-serving “false-narrative,” according to an interview in West Point’s publication, CTC Sentinel. His view is that Moscow is trying to undermine “U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts in the region,” writes the Voice of America.

But from almost any angle – considering the international activities Russia has chosen to involve itself in that affect American interests – it certainly doesn’t look like Russia wants to improve relations with the United States.

Except, maybe, on its own terms.

Full article: Russia not out to improve relations (Family Security Matters)

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