Mattis said that Russia's aggression against Ukraine at sea, when the Russians opened fire on Ukrainian ships and captured their crew, highlights the reason why the global community is more and more suspicious of Moscow.
The revelation comes just days after President Donald Trump canceled a formal sit-down meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina this weekend.
Last week, US Ambassador Nikki Haley to the United Nations accused Russian Federation of "outlaw actions" and an "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory" while addressing an emergency meeting of the Security Council.
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"We have got to be much stronger in drawing lines with Putin", he said, adding he believes Putin isn't a slow learner, but rather "a bully".
In his comments December 1, Jim Mattis also asserted that Moscow had tried to interfere in last month's midterm congressional elections. Mattis portrayed the latest incident as evidence that the administration's defense strategy, announced almost a year ago, was correct in refocusing from the post-9/11 wars to what Mattis has called an emergence of "great power" competition with Russian Federation and China.
"He is not recognising that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people".
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The 34-year old has been in custody since his arrest back in July and did receive credit for 300 days already served. He was with the Seahawks during their Super Bowl win in February 2014 and was signed to Patriots later that year.
Mattis described the Russian leader as "someone we simply can not trust".
"Mr. Putin is clearly a slow learner", Mattis said during the forum here Saturday. "He's not acting in the best interests of the Russian people, and he is actually causing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to rearm".
Mattis did not make reference to President Donald Trump's recent announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from the treaty.
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Mattis did not mention directly the administration's intention to withdraw from the treaty, saying instead, "We will re-energize our arms control efforts, but the onus is on Russian Federation".