Earlier this week Putin unexpectedly announced that Moscow’s objectives in the country had been “generally accomplished” and Russia would begin withdrawing from Syria.
But Richardson, the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations and Energy Secretary under the Clinton administration, questioned Putin’s intentions.
“Putin is up to something. I don’t know what it is. I don’t trust him. We shouldn’t trust him,” Richardson said. “I do think it’s an economic reason. The Russian economy is dependent a good part of it on oil prices. Maybe Putin is saying ‘I’m getting out of Syria because it’s a big financial burden, and I have to take care of my people in Russia because of oil prices doubling.’”