Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, known for his hawkish foreign policy outlook, said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will have to change for relations with the U.S. to improve.
Bolton referred to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its grown influence in the Middle East “in a dimension we haven’t seen in 50 years,” as well as its part in interfering in the U.S. presidential election, specifically mentioning the conclusions of the United States intelligence community.
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“Vladimir Putin defines Russian foreign policy entirely on the basis of Russian national interest. And he has gotten away with a lot in the last eight years,” Bolton said in an appearance on Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends.’ If these activities are going to stop, then I think we can see a different relationship,” he added.
Bolton, in a stunning departure with the position of Trump and his team, said last week that the Obama administration’s new sanctions against Russia are not enough. The former ambassador was reportedly on Trump’s short list for Secretary of State at one point.
Trump has made very clear gestures toward Russia and specifically, its president, both during the campaign and after winning the election, and remains defiant as he continues to cast doubt in the U.S. intelligence community in general and with respect to its unanimous conclusion regarding the Russian hacking and meddling in the U.S. election.