CIA director Mike Pompeo, who was picked by President Donald Trump to lead US foreign policy, has declared that the days of what he called a “soft policy” toward Russia are over. At the same time, he said dialogue must continue.
“Russia continues to act aggressively, enabled by years of soft policy toward that aggression. That’s now over. The list of this administration’s actions to raise the cost for [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is long,” Pompeo said in his prepared testimony before the Senate. Excerpts of his testimony were released by the White House on Thursday.
The intelligence chief, known for his hardline approach to foreign affairs, stated that the Trump administration’s handling of the Russia issue has made it clear that it “rightfully, has identified Russia as a danger to our country.”
Listing the measures taken by the Trump White House to tame Moscow, Pompeo mentioned the planned US military build-up, modernization of its nuclear arsenal, as well as rounds of punitive measures against Russia.
“We have imposed tough sanctions and expelled more Russian diplomats and intelligence officers from the US than at any time since the Cold War,” Pompeo said.
He also praised the Trump administration’s efforts in supplying Ukraine and Georgia with weapons, claiming that Washington is helping them to resist “Russian expansionism.”
Despite chalking up the record numbers of expelled Russian diplomats as an achievement, Pompeo claimed Washington will continue talking to Moscow.
“Our diplomatic efforts with Russia will prove challenging, but as in previous confrontations with Moscow, will continue,” he stated.