Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinActing U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: Embassy families evacuated out of 'abundance of caution' Overnight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch US shipment of military equipment, munitions arrives in Ukraine MORE pulled his military out of Syria for economic reasons, former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson said during an interview with John Catsimatidis Sunday.
“I think he’s up to something again,” Richardson said. “It could be Syria is a big burden on Russia … The Russian economy is in trouble. I think he may feel overextended.”
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.’”