Pentagon chief urges balanced approach to Russian aggression

BERLIN – Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the US and NATO need to have a “strong but balanced” approach to Russia, and he questioned whether Moscow’s “backward-looking” aggressive behavior will change while President Vladimir Putin remains at the helm.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him to Europe Sunday, Carter said he can’t be certain Putin will change direction, so allies must

use a two-pronged approach that works with Russia on some issues while also girding to deter and respond to Moscow’s aggression. “The United States at least continues to hold out the prospect that Russia, maybe not under Vladimir Putin, but maybe sometime in the future, will return to a forward-moving course, rather than a backward-looking course,” said Carter, just before arriving in Berlin.



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