Signs that America’s “good relationship” with Russia, as mentioned by President Donald Trump on Twitter last week, may be coming to an end. Definitive actions on Monday, March 26, point to a souring of US-Russia relations.
President Trump had the Russian consulate in Seattle close on Monday, as well as commanding sixty Russian diplomats to leave the country. These actions were done in retribution, since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, a former Russian spy and his adult daughter, which occurred in the UK on March 4, had been attributed to Moscow. The attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal, British citizens, had been done on British soil via nerve gas poisoning.
Other countries have also acted in a similar manner. Canada, as well as several European countries, has also expelled Russian diplomats. The British Prime Minister has called these events the “largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.”
US government officials said that relations between the US and Russia cannot go forward as long as Moscow threatens the US’ allies, refuses to take responsibility for the poisonings and continues to carry out “destabilizing and aggressive actions” in both the US and in other places around the globe.
While President Trump has publicly pursued improved relations with Russia, it has also become glaringly obvious that Russia has acted in ways adverse to the US’s policies and agenda. For example, the US has tried to isolate Iran and North Korea, while Russia has sought to support them. The Kremlin has also supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been changing Ukraine’s borders and stepping up the development of nuclear arms.
The US President has received censure for his friendly attitude toward Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as his failure to take Mr. Putin to task for interference in the US elections two years ago. However underneath all that, it is undeniable that tensions between the two global powers are heating up.
The current administration has supplied the Ukraine with military weapons, increased US military action in Syria, and, upon Congress’ insistence, even began to enforce sanctions on Russia for the 2016 elections.
And, as of Monday, President Obama has already booted more Russian diplomats than President Obama ever did. He also ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco in August of 2017, which removed Russia’s presence from the West Coast completely, and diminished its undercover operation in the whole country.
While whether or not Mr. Trump has talked about the attack on the Skripals with Mr. Putin in person remains undisclosed, the expulsion of the diplomats and closure of the Washington consulate was the President’s decision, according to senior officials.