'Russia and America are dangerously close to confrontation', says former ambassador

'Russia and America are dangerously close to confrontation', says former ambassador

Sir Tony Brenton says Russia is angry

Monday, July 31, 2017

Russia and America are dangerously close to confrontation and it's important both countries now find a way back from the brink, according to a former ambassador.

Vladimir Putin has expelled 775 US diplomats from Russia, just days after US Congress voted in favour of imposing fresh sanctions on Moscow.

Sir Tony Brenton, a former British ambassador to Russia, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that this is a "sign of how angry" Russia is about "their hopes of the relationship getting better going steadily downhill."

He believes that the fact "both sides at various points have been talking about military options shows that the world's two major nuclear superpowers are dangerously close to some sort of confrontation." Therefore "it’s important that they find a way back from the brink."

He added that "Putin is convinced that Clinton wanted to get rid of him and she probably did. Which is why he was keen for Trump to be elected and why some of these accusations of hacking by the Russians are undoubtedly true."

But despite this "an awful lot more of that fuss [about Russian hacking] is connected with people wanting to get rid of Trump than people who are necessarily very worried about Russia."

Listen to the full interview above