Defense Secretary James Mattis vowed on Monday that the U.S. would “confront” Russia for providing weapons and material support to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The top official’s remarks came during a press conference in Kabul.
“We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries,” Mattis said. “For example, any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of international law.”
Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan, told a Senate panel last year that the Russians had increased support for Taliban in the Afghan region in an effort to undermine U.S. and NATO efforts.
Russia, the Associated Press reported, denies the allegations, saying that its limited contact with warring factions in Afghanistan is focused only on eliminating Islamic hardliners in the region and bringing fundamentalists in line with the nation’s government.
Still, U.S. officials are making clear that they’re willing to challenge Russia directly over the matter.
“We’ll engage with Russia diplomatically,” Mattis said. “We’ll do so where we can, but we’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries.”
Amid continued U.S. demonization of Russia, top officials in the country are signaling that plans could be underway to attack the U.S. economy in an effort to weaken its international influence.
Russian politician and economist Sergey Glazyev told state TV in the country that Russian and Chinese officials are working on a plan to ditch the U.S. dollar, which would severely weaken the country’s economy.
He said: “The more aggressive the Americans are, the sooner they will see the final collapse of the dollar and by getting rid of the dollar this would be the only way for victims of American aggression to stop this onslaught.
“As soon as we and China dump the dolar, it will be the end of the US’ military might.”
Glazyev wagers that the U.S. is currently conducting “a hybrid war with the entire world to shift their debt burden on to other countries, to confine everyone to the dollar and weaken territories they cannot control.”
He added: “In this context, the anti-Russian hysteria and growing Russophobia can be seen as a long-term factor linked with the specific interests of the United States’ ruling elite.”