Pentagon chief Mark Esper said that Russia needs to change its behavior in order to work together with the United States and focus not on disagreements, but on what positions of the two countries are similar.
“Russia continues to contribute to instability, as it violates the territorial integrity of its neighbors,” Esper said during a press conference in Paris.
“It would be great if Russia could behave as a more normal country, which shares the Western values shared by the United States, France, and our other NATO allies … Russia needs to change its behavior and behave in accordance with the rules and norms that we installed. This is the best way to move forward,” the chief of the Pentagon answered the question about the statement of French President Emmanuel Macron that pushing Russia away from Europe is a big strategic mistake.
Esper expressed regrets that the countries are now in a similar situation.
“Our goal is to try to put them (Russia) on the best path where we can work together and concentrate not on differences, but on what we agree on and cooperate for our common economic prosperity, promoting our values and interests,” concluded Esper.
Macron said earlier that pushing Russia away from Europe is a big strategic mistake, a new European project is impossible without a deep revision of ties with Moscow. He noted that to remain in a war of positions with Russia, as well as to “act from a position of weakness towards Russia,” is not in the interests of France, therefore, in his opinion, “this rhetoric (of relations with Russia) needs to be rethought very deeply.”
Relations between the Russian Federation and Western countries deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which reunited with Russia after a referendum on the peninsula. The West, having accused the Russian Federation of interference, imposed sanctions against it and Moscow took retaliatory measures, headed for import substitution and more than once stated that talking with her in the language of sanctions is counterproductive. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and is the subject of Minsk settlement agreements.