After the U.S. closed Russian consulates in San Francisco and elsewhere this week, Russo-American relations are arguably at a severe low point.
So it comes as no help that Putin ended the week with criticism of how the Trump administration is handling North Korea’s provocation.
He argued that taking a hardline stance against Kim Jong Un’s saber rattling and responding with naval exercises will only further force a ‘large-scale conflict’ in the region.
The problem is Putin has a long history of not only tolerating rogue regimes like N. Korea but actually aiding and abetting them as allies against the West.
Witness Iran and Syria.
This is being seen not merely as criticism but as encouragement for North Korea.
So the obvious questions is this: should conflict break, where will Russia end up?
Here’s more from Reuters…
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the tense standoff between North Korea and the United States was on the verge of large-scale conflict and said it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear missile programme.
Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote in an article published on the Kremlin’s web site ahead of his trip that he favoured negotiations with North Korea instead.
“It is essential to resolve the region’s problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any preconditions (for such talks),” Putin wrote.
“Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere.”
The situation on the Korean Peninsula had deteriorated so much that it was now “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict,” said the Russian leader.