Tags: Russia | Trump Administration | putin | bolton | nuclear | treaty

Putin to Bolton: US Actions Against Russia 'Unprovoked'

vladimir putin seen in profile standing close to john bolton who faces the camera
(AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 23 October 2018 01:12 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin complained that U.S. sanctions and other actions against Russia are “absolutely unprovoked” at the start of a meeting with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton Tuesday.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the U.S. will withdraw from an arms-control treaty that the U.S. says Russia has violated by developing a new cruise missile. Bolton said Monday that the U.S. considers the treaty, governing intermediate-range missiles, obsolete because it doesn’t restrict countries such as China and Iran.

U.S. plans to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty comes after the Trump administration has increased sanctions on Russia to punish the Kremlin for its 2016 election interference and for the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in England earlier this year.

“It’s sometimes surprising to see how the United States makes absolutely unprovoked steps with regard to Russia,” Putin told Bolton through a translator. “We practically haven’t reacted to a single one of your steps but they just go on and on.”

Bolton is in Moscow meeting with Russian officials as a follow-up to Putin’s July summit with Trump in Helsinki. He’s also preparing for Putin and Trump to meet again, likely at a commemoration of the end of World War I in Paris next month.

“Trump would look forward to seeing you in Paris,” Bolton told Putin. “Despite our differences, which exist because of our different national interests, it’s still important to work in areas where there is a possibility of mutual cooperation.”

Putin suggested the U.S. is acting aggressively, citing Trump’s planned exit from the INF treaty and his effort to create a new “Space Force” branch of the U.S. military.

In a sign of the tensions, at the start of their meeting, the Russian leader asked Bolton if the eagle on the seal of the U.S., which clutches olive branches in one claw and arrows in the other, “has eaten all the olives, leaving only arrows?”

Bolton responded: “I didn’t bring any more olives.”

“I thought so,” Putin said.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin complained that U.S. sanctions and other actions against Russia are "absolutely unprovoked" at the start of a meeting with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton Tuesday.President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the U.S. will...
putin, bolton, nuclear, treaty
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2018-12-23
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 01:12 PM
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