Sanctions, diplomatic expulsions, and airstrikes in Syria – over the past few months the relationship between the United States and Russia has become increasingly fragile.
In the lead up to the US-led airstrikes on Syrian chemical weapon facilities last week, Moscow warned Washington that military interference would be met with “consequences”. But the response from Russia has been muted.
Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center John Herbst says the Kremlin has been pursuing a policy hostile to the West for more than a decade and the US was starting to push back.
On April 6, President Donald Trump’s administration placed sanctions on seven oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the Kremlin leader’s son-in-law.
Herbst said if the Kremlin continues its aggression in Ukraine and its support for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, further sanctions were likely.
In its efforts to help Ukraine battle Russian-led aggression in the Donbas, Washington has sold some 200 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and has set aside $200 million for additional military aid this year.
“I think it’s long overdue for us to provide these weapons,” Herbst said.
“The Kremlin, since the first Minsk ceasefire in September 2014, has seized well over 1000 additional square kilometers of Ukrainian territory. In these offenses, they have used tanks… providing Javelins will stop those tanks. It will make it easier for Ukraine to defend the territory, which Moscow is currently trying to move into.”
Hromadske sat down with the director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center and former US ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst to discuss where the US-Russia relationship is headed and how Washington is helping Kyiv fight the Moscow-led conflict in the Donbas.