US, India security co-operation shows growing trust: James Mattis

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri back upon his arrival for a bilateral meeting at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires Argentina Saturday Dec. 1 2018

US Defence Sec Calls Putin'Slow Learner, Alleges Recent Election Meddling

Asked if U.S. -Russian ties had become more strained since he took over the Pentagon past year after Trump became president, Mattis said, "There's no doubt the relationship has worsened".

"We are going to stand with the 41 nations, largest wartime coalition in history, who are still committed to this effort", Mattis said at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday.

On November 25, the Ukrainian Navy said Russian forces opened fire and seized three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, injuring six Ukrainian military sailors.

"There is no doubt the relationship has worsened", between the US and Russian Federation.

Mattis said that American intelligence is seeing "a continued effort" by Russian Federation to interfere in American elections, after they meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

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"What we are seeing Putin do with his ripping up of global agreements. we're dealing with someone that we simply can not trust", the Pentagon chief added.

But independent researchers and social media firms countered this conclusion, saying that Russian Federation has indeed continued its online influence campaigns to sow distrust in American democratic institutions. He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating an animosity against his people, "said Mattis".

In regards to the importance of the USA military presence in Afgahnistan, Secretary Mattis has said "If we leave, with 20-odd of the most unsafe terrorist groups in the world centered in that region, we know what will happen".

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said "this is probably the revelation of the day".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said the Ukraine events were the only reason Trump canceled his planned formal meeting with Putin in Argentina, not developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

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