On Monday, President Obama’s State Department suffered further deterioration in relations between Russia and the U.S. as Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a nuclear weapons treaty.

Putin said his action was a response to what he termed, “unfriendly acts by Washington,” as the Russian strongman continues to push forward on his policy of applying military pressure to the region in support of Syrian Bashar al-Assad.

The Obama administration has steadfastly held to its risk-adverse diplomatic approach that has, to date, prevented an entire collapse of Syria during his tenure, but failed to further peace talks while the U.S. increases the number of “advisors” deployed to the Middle East at an incremental rate.

The announcement from the Kremlin in Moscow narrowly beat the State Department’s own statement that the U.S. was suspending talks with Russia over its bombings in Syria.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that it was “obvious” there was nothing more that could be achieved and indicated the U.S. would “have to pursue alternative means” to bring peace to the region.

Experts in Washington were divided as to whether Putin’s action was a bluff or a signal that he no longer considers working with the lame duck Obama a necessity with less than five weeks to go before a new American president is elected.

The treaty, agreed upon in 2000, governed bilateral disposal of weapons grade plutonium, which raises the issue of whether Putin will use nuclear disarmament in bargaining with the U.S. over Syria, as well as Russia’s move against Ukraine.

The end of the talks has both an upside and a downside for Putin, as he is now free to increase military support of the Syrian regime, but no longer has a clear path to ending the conflict any time in the near future.

Obama’s policy in Syria has come under increasing fire with the Wall Street Journal saying it is “in rubble,” and even traditionally liberal publications, such as the Washington Post calling it, “hallucinatory” and CNN calling the president, “myopic.”

Last week, Earnest was unable to articulate the Obama Syria policy when asked directly by a reporter at a press conference.

Source: Reuters.com

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