Ex-US officials: Putin’s Russia is the most dangerous country in the world


Ex-U.S. officials say Russia’s foreign policy is driven by a desire to expand its sphere of influence and its power in the region, and by the fear that if it doesn’t, it will have a significant impact on the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The expatriated former officials told Reuters they saw a direct connection between Putin’s Russian policy and the rise of the extremist group, which has seized territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in much of the region.

A senior State Department official and the former officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the record, said they saw Russia’s decision to back Assad as part of a broader strategy that aims to expand Moscow’s influence in the Middle East and beyond.

They also pointed to Russia’s recent military intervention in Ukraine, which they said was a clear attempt to bolster its regional military.

“The U.N. has already called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine and Russia has done so,” said a former senior State official.

“So the U,S., NATO, the Arab League and other powers have all warned Russia that it has to do so, and Russia responded by increasing its military presence.”

The former officials said they believed Russia’s actions in Ukraine were in response to the U-N.

Security Council’s vote on whether to support the Russian-backed government in Kiev, which adopted a resolution condemning the violence.

The former senior officials, including former U.K. ambassador to Russia Matthew Rycroft, said the U and Russia’s efforts to bolster Assad’s hold on power are rooted in the Kremlin’s fears that U.A.E. nations will be drawn into the conflict.

Rycroft also told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that Putin is the only one of the U the three major world powers who has consistently denied U.R.N.-sanctioned attacks on civilians, even when U.s. forces were involved.

Rycliffe said Putin and his inner circle have used the U’s inability to defend itself in the past as a reason to try to push for a change in U.a.e. foreign policy.

“It is a deliberate strategy to keep the U in the dark about what Russia is doing in the U., so they can push for more of it, Rycroft said.

The U has been forced to take on the burden of being the arbiter of what U.e is doing.

If the U doesn’t like it, it can do whatever it wants, he said.

Putin’s military support for Assad has not always been limited to airstrikes against ISIS.

He has also backed the rebels in Syria, including the Free Syrian Army, whose armed wing is the Al Nusra Front.

Russian state television has broadcast images of Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers entering the border region of Deir al-Zor, where the U.-backed fighters are based.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Russian military had been deployed to Deir Al-Zour to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin has also sought to bolster U.r.

N-sanctioning operations in the Syrian conflict by signing the Russia-Uganda Security Agreement, a pact to prevent the United States from implementing U.v. sanctions against Russia, which he called “illegal.”

The pact has since been suspended by Russia, and Washington has been working with the U to revive it.

Ryccels views of Putin are in line with a growing chorus of Western analysts who are warning that the Russia leader’s policies are threatening the stability of and the region in general.

In the interview with Reuters, Ryccelts comments about Russia’s expansionism came as Russia and the U have continued to work together on a joint anti-ISIS coalition.

The coalition, led by the US., has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic fighters and other targets in Iraq since last year, with a focus on eliminating the group’s self-declared caliphate.

The Pentagon and the White House say they are trying to defeat ISIS in Iraq by the end of the year, but the group is not expected to disappear entirely.