No sign Putin has halted his ‘walk to war’: ex-US ambassador

There is no indication that the Russian president Russian President Vladimir Putin The former US ambassador to Russia said aggression against Ukraine would stop aggression against Ukraine despite recent talks with world leaders.

“There is absolutely no indication that Putin has halted his march toward war, his preparation for war,” said Michael McFaul, who is now director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

“Every indication is that he continues to build up his forces on every border and from the water against Ukraine,” he told CNBC. “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

Russian forces have massed along the country’s border with Ukraine for several months, raising fears that Moscow might invade Ukraine in a repeat of the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Russia has denied the allegations.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday The Kremlin has accelerated its military build-up in recent days.

The United States previously said Russia may fabricate an attack from Ukraine as a pretext to invade its neighbour.

McFaul said the false flag attacks were a “good tactic” on Russia’s part and not new. He said the US warnings were “credible,” although Moscow denied the allegations.

“I admire the tendency of the Biden administration to this matter and to declassify information that is usually difficult to declassify,” he said. “It suggests to me that it is credible.”

suspicion

However, McFaul said no one knows what will happen next in Russia-Ukrainian tensions or how Moscow will respond to sanctions from the United States and the West.

“I don’t think anyone knows. I think there is a lot of uncertainty right now,” he said.

He said this was partly because the Russian leader was “isolated”.

“Putin is very aloof, even in his country. He rarely talks to advisers,” McFaul said, adding, “We don’t have much sincerity in what he thinks.”

CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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