Clinton speaks of possible new ‘reset’ in relations with Russia

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate on Jan. 17, 2016 in Charleston.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate on Jan. 17, 2016 in Charleston.

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Final Democratic presidential debate before party selects candidate.

Democratic candidates in the U.S. presidential race held another TV debate on January 17, 2016. The frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, did not rule out a new “reset” in relations with Moscow, at the same time describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “bully.”

The debate was held in Charleston, South Carolina.

Among other topics, the issue of U.S. relations with Russia was raised. Clinton was asked if she would give another “reset” button to Vladimir Putin.

“Well, it would depend what I got for it,” Clinton said. “And I can tell you what we got in the first term (when Clinton was secretary of state in the Obama administration). We got a new START treaty to reduce nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia. We got permission to resupply our troops in Afghanistan by traveling across Russia. We got Russia to sign on to our sanctions against Iran and other very important commitments.”

Clinton mentioned that when Putin reassumed the presidency, he accused her of fomenting dissent. Asked about her relationship with Putin, she replied: “It’s interesting, it’s one I think about respect. We’ve had some very tough dealings with one another. I know that he’s someone you have to continually stand up to, because like many bullies he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can unless you do.”

For his part, candidate Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main challenger, said, “Unfortunately much of that budget (referring to military spending) continues to fight the old Cold War with the Soviet Union. Very little of that budget – less than 10 percent – actually goes into fighting ISIS and international terrorism. We need to be thinking hard about making fundamental changes in the priorities of the Defense Department.” Sanders went on to imply that the U.S.’s main goal should be fighting ISIS with Russia, Iran and other Muslim-majority countries, while removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be next in line as a priority.

First published in Russian in Kommersant.

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