U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he warned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that there would be “an enormous price to pay” if Moscow is offering bounties to kill U.S. soldiers or other western troops in Afghanistan.
The New York Times in June reported that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including American troops, citing U.S. intelligence officials.
President Donald Trump said he was not told about the information because many U.S. intelligence officials doubted its veracity, although several U.S. and European sources contradicted his comments.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pompeo declined to say whether he believed the intelligence was credible or if he thought Trump should have been briefed, but said Washington would not put up with such behavior.
“If the Russians are offering money to kill Americans, or for that matter other Westerns as well, there will be an enormous price to pay. That’s what I shared with foreign minister Lavrov,” Pompeo said in the interview, conducted during his official visit to the Czech Republic.
“I know our military has talked to their senior leaders as well. We won’t brook that, we won’t tolerate,” Pompeo said.