US Accuses Russia of Attempting to Divide the West

US Defence Secretary James Mattis was attending his first Nato defence ministers' meeting - (AFP-Getty Images)
US Defence Secretary James Mattis was attending his first Nato defence ministers' meeting - (AFP-Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — American Defence Secretary, James Mattis, Wednesday said that poisoning of former Russian spy in Britain is a part of the wider Russian strategy to carry out operations and deny them, in an attempt to split the west.

In the aftermath of the US announcement to expel 60 Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK, Mattis said that for Russian President Vladimir Putin not to claim responsibility for the assassination of Sergei Skripal in southern England is something that can't be taken seriously.

He pointed out that not claiming responsibility is a reminiscent of Russia's behavior when it invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, employing soldiers wearing military uniforms with no badges.

"They're doing things they believe are deniable." Mattis stated, adding that "they are trying to fragment the unity of NATO." Leader of the British opposition Jeremy Corbin raised skepticism over the accusation that Putin is behind the assassination and hinted it could be the work of a Russian "mafia-like" gangs.

(Petra)