Putin responsible for bad US-Russia relations, Negroponte says

Putin responsible for bad US-Russia relations, Negroponte says

HomeUSForeign Policy Mon Feb 9, 2015 6:11AM
http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/02/09/396802/Putin-blamed-for-bad-relations-with-US

Former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte says Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government are responsible for bad relations with the United States.

“I certainly wouldn’t hold the United States responsible for the fact that relations between us and Russia have taken a turn for the worse,” Negroponte said during a radio interview on Sunday.

“I think the Russians bear full responsibility for that,” he added.

Relations between Washington and Moscow deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine over the past year.

The US accuses Russia of supporting pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, an allegation denied by the Kremlin.

The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, including visa bans and asset freezes over the crisis in Ukraine.

Negroponte also accused the Russian president of asserting “influence over the former Soviet republics – what they call ‘the near abroad.’”

“I think that’s what explains his behavior in Georgia five or six years ago,” he said. “And it explains what he’s been doing in the Ukraine, [and] the seizure of the Crimea.”

In March 2014, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum.

Some 96.8 percent of participants voted in favor of the secession. The voter turnout in the referendum stood at 83.1 percent.

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