WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US and Russian militaries should take steps to stop tensions or they will continue to rise, putting "everyone" at risk, the United States’ former European combatant-commander Gen. Philip Breedlove told Sputnik.
"[I]f we do not do something to stop this ugly competition from continuing, it is going to hurt Europe [and] everyone in the long run," Breedlove said on Monday.
Resolving this standoff, Breedlove said, "means building a dependable, consistent trust relationship on both sides."
In that dual post, Breedlove would meet regularly with General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian military’s chief of staff.
"But when Crimea happened, that stopped," Breedlove said.
Breedlove referred to Crimea holding a popular referendum in March 2014, when more than 90 percent of Crimean residents opted for Crimea to rejoin Russia. The United States does not recognize the results of the referendum and has imposed sanctions on Russia.
Breedlove also said that in his opinion the Russian leadership would like to see a divided and weaker NATO.
Breedlove was succeeded by General Curtis Scaparrotti.