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 "Putin is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance," - General Mattis

Russia is a strategic adversary of the United States.

General Mattis told senators, Censor.NET reports citing The Washington Times.

Read more: Trump's CIA chief candidate includes Russia in list of global challenges

Asked by Senator McCain about how the U.S. should treat Russia, Mattis said he supports better relations with Putin, adding a new reality is yet to be taken into account.

"He is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance," Mattis stressed.

The general believes America has to do its best to support NATO economically, diplomatically and militarily.

Responding to McCain's questions, Mattis also confirmed he agrees to a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltic countries and acknowledged that the U.S. military power is not enough to confront Russia.
 
 
 
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