Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “slow learner.” US Secretary of Defense James Mattis voiced such an opinion during the California Security Forum, Reuters reports.
Mattis has noted that Russia's aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, when the Russians opened fire against Ukrainian ships and captured their crew, highlights the reason why the international community is more and more suspicious of Moscow.
“Mr. Putin is clearly a “slow learner.” He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating an animosity against his people, "said Mattis.
“What we are seeing Putin do with his ripping up of international agreements ... we’re dealing with someone that we simply cannot trust,” the Pentagon chief added.
In addition, Mattis said that Russia attempted to intervene in the midterm elections in the United States last month, just like in 2016.
“(Putin) tried again to muck around in our elections this last month. And we are seeing a continued effort along those lines,” Mattis said, adding that the United States would take whatever steps to defend American democracy.