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Tensions between the U.S. and Russia escalated Monday as the Obama administration suspended talks over Syria’s civil war hours after Moscow announced it was ending cooperation with the U.S. on a 16-year-old program for the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium to curb the production of more nuclear bombs.
The Obama administration stopped pursuing diplomacy with Russia amid renewed attacks by Russian and Syrian forces on the city of Aleppo. Frustrated administration officials acknowledged that Syrian President Bashar Assad is making territorial gains with Moscow’s help after the collapse of a cease-fire negotiated by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
Is this nothing more than a big distraction?