Published On: Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

'PUTIN IS LOOKING FOR WAR' Russian politician says conflict 'MOST LIKELY'

PutinGETTY

Russian politician says ‘Putin is looking for war’

The Foreign Secretary had been due to meet his opposite number Sergei Lavrov today before dramatically calling off his visit.

Johnson is now spearheading international efforts to force Russia to abandon its ally Bashar al-Assad after Western claims he used chemical weapons on his own people in a deadly attack last week. 

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Rex Tlllerson will carry a united Western message to Moscow this week, but Putin has made clear he will not meet him.

And the Russian foreign ministry sought to mock Britain’s top diplomat, Tweeting an unflattering picture with the message: “We don’t think that we need a dialogue with Boris Johnson more than he needs it.”

Boris JohnsonGETTY

Mr Johnson is now spearheading international efforts to force Russia to abandon its ally Mr al-Assad

If the situation gets worse, the power will have to start some new gamble in order to draw attention away and ‘to consolidate’

Grogory Yavlinsky

Moscow today confirmed the return of a modern Admiral Grigorovich-class to its Mediterranean fleet providing cover to the Syrian armed forces. 

Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the ussian upper house defence and security committee, said: “We have already attacked militants from its deck. 

“This is not so much about the moral support for the Syrian armed forces in the fight against terrorists as about fire cover.”

On new Western sanctions Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he could not comment before hearing what was planned. 

“Not knowing what we are talking about – and we truly don’t know it – it is hard to speak about our reaction to it,” he said. 

Rex TlllersonGETTY

Mr Tlllerson will carry a united Western message to Moscow this week

“Yes there was a statement from the US permanent representative, but we haven’t heard any statements from President Trump or his representatives.”

But Russian liberal politician Grogory Yavlinsky warned today that Vladimir Putin is looking for a “war” to consolidate his position in power as protests over alleged corruption by senior figures mount against his rule. 

“If the situation gets worse, the power will have to start some new gamble in order to draw attention away and ‘to consolidate’,” he said. 

“Most likely, it will be some kind of war.”

He suggested President Putin had used the tactic previously, for example in Ukraine. 

Grogory YavlinskyGETTY

‘Most likely, it will be some kind of war,’ says Mr Yavlinsky

But he warned Syria – where tension is now acute – is a “trap for Russia”.

The politician, likely to seek to stand against Putin in next year’s presidential elections, said: “Russia itself got into the marsh of the endless Middle East religious war, and now our competitors need just one thing – to keep us there as long as possible, to sink there forever, wasting all available and not available recourses. 

“We have to get out of there right now. 

“But it is very difficult at this very moment because the attack of Americans in Syria was taken as a challenge.”

He claimed Putin has misjudged Donald Trump, hoping he would be a Russian ally.

“From the very beginning it was clear that Trump won’t drag Russia out of international isolation and sanctions,” he said. 

“But the American attack on the governmental aviation base in Syria is the end of the game called ‘Trump is ours’. 

“It should be clear for everybody that our country does not need to push this conflict up to the hot war with the USA. Neither our economy, nor our military opportunities can afford it.”

Senior senator Alexey Pushkov urged Trump to think hard before imposing new sanctions on Russia if he wanted any dialogue with Putin. 

“Trump must think three times before introducing new sanctions against Russia,” he said. 

Konstantin Kosachev, head of Russian senate’s international affairs committee, said: “Trump must stop sorting his problems at Russia’s expense because he will not reach his aims.

Donald TrumpGETTY

Mr Yavlinsky claimed Putin has misjudged Donald Trump, hoping he would be a Russian ally

“The ‘wolves’ in Washington will never be fed, and ‘lambs’ in the shape of normal relations with Russia and even more so, co-operation against a common enemy, will not be rescued either.”

The missile strike seemingly had not brought the result that Trump expected.

“He didn’t reach the aim of pacifying those who wanted blood in Syria and other decisive measures against Russia,” he said. 

“But following their lead, Trump steps on a very dangerous path. 

“By trying to please them he faces a real risk of spoiling relations with Russia to the level they were during Obama’s time.”

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