Pentagon Sermonizes Against Russia's 'Malign Influence' in Middle East

© AFP 2022 / STAFF The Pentagon building in Washington, DC
The Pentagon building in Washington, DC - Sputnik International
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US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has reportedly promised to take "all necessary steps" in order to rein in Russia.

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US Can Cooperate With Russia Where 'Interests Are Aligned' - Ashton Carter
Speaking at a US army convention, Pentagon chief Ashton Carter pledged to take "all necessary steps" needed to keep a tight rein on Russia, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

The newspaper quoted Carter as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly wrapped his country in a "shroud of isolation," which Carter said only a drastic change in policy could reverse.

"We will take all necessary steps to deter Russia’s malign and destabilizing influence, coercion and aggression," Carter said.

According to him, as long as Russia adheres to its "misguided strategy" in Syria to support President Assad, "we have not, and will not, agree to cooperate with Russia."

The Guardian noted that Carter's latest remarks became the Obama administration's strongest language since its announcing the "reset of relations" with Russia back in 2009.

Carter made the comments against the backdrop of Washington's refusal to receive a high-ranking Russian delegation led by the country's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the situation in Syria.

Commenting on the move, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that "we have been told that they can't send a delegation to Moscow and they can't host a delegation in Washington either."

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, in turn, attributed Washington's decision to Moscow's alleged unwillingness to contribute to the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL).

Ernest claimed that Russia has its own agenda in Syria, which it carries out on its own, adding that Moscow's attempts to convince Washington to partner with Russia indicated that Russia's efforts left the country isolated. Meanwhile, Russia has partnered with Iraq, Iran and Syria to eliminate ISIL and return peace and stability to a region which has known neither since the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

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