Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson calls for local leaders to 'condemn vandalization of statues,' 'dismantle autonomous zones' Ben Carson to read stories for children at home amid the coronavirus pandemic Melania Trump reads 'All Different Now' by Angela Johnson to mark Juneteenth MORE closed the door Monday on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE as a point of discussion amid their battle for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.

“I don’t want to talk about Trump,” he said when asked about the outspoken billionaire on the Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast.”

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Carson said he is more interested in discussing his plans on foreign affairs than he is analyzing Trump’s version instead.

“We need to have a global strategy,” Carson told host Neil Cavuto after shutting down his questions about Trump’s stance on international conflict.

“I do not want to allow Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinVladimir Putin becomes Russia's president for life Susan Rice: Trump picks Putin over troops 'even when it comes to the blood of American service members' Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide MORE to expand his influence,” he said of the Russian president. "That has been his goal for quite some time now.”

“He was very disappointed with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its influence worldwide,” Carson added of Putin. "We cannot contribute to his ability to regain that.”

Carson charged that the U.S. must stand firm against Putin’s increasing aggression in troubled regions like Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

“I don’t think we should back down from Putin right now,” the retired neurosurgeon said.

“He needs to understand that if he continues with this activity, we are going to use all the facilities available to us — including financial facilities — to inflict pain on him,” Carson said.

“We need to have [a] missile defense system reestablished as he was horrified when it was there before,” he said, citing Putin’s animosity toward missiles defending U.S. allies in Eastern Europe. "Let’s get in his face a little bit.”

Carson also charged that he would push back against Putin harder in Syria were he commander in chief.

“We need to make him aware that we’re not going to alter our flight patterns or be restricted by anything he says,” he said of Putin.

“I would [also] establish a no-fly zone along the Turkish border [with Syria],” Carson added. "We don’t want the forces to be in juxtaposition."

Carson’s remarks come as he chases Trump’s lead in the race for next year’s GOP presidential nomination across multiple national polls.

Trump has 22.8 percent to Carson’s 17.3 percent, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of samplings