Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions

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Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that the United States shouldn’t impose harmful sanctions on Russia, as he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “is not going to use military force” in eastern Ukraine.

“So far, we have limited the sanctions to the leadership of Russia, and I think that is the proper approach,” he told the Agence France-Presse while in Paris for a discussion on climate change.

“I don’t think we would go so far as to impose sanctions that would hurt the Russian people.”

Mr. Carter argued that Russia’s takeover of Crimea was “inevitable” and that the West couldn’t have done anything “to prevent that eventuality.”

Russia has always considered Crimea to be part of Russia,” he told AFP.

“My hope and my belief is that Putin is not going to use military force” in eastern Ukraine, he said. “He is going to try to use other means to convince those people who live there that their best option is to cast their lot more towards Russia than towards the West. So I don’t think there is anything we can do that is going to deter Putin.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden warned Tuesday during a two-day visit to Kiev that more provocative behavior by Russia “will lead to more costs and to greater isolation.”

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