- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Michael McFaul, who recently stepped down as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, said that Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukraine demands more action from the United States.

“As far as I’m personally concerned, today’s annexation demands new sanctions — new individuals, expansion of the very short list that was announced yesterday,” Mr. McFaul said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

One day after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, the White House and its partners in the European Union responded by targeting high-ranking officials in Moscow along with pro-Russian figures responsible for the unrest in Ukraine.

“Of course it was too short of a list,” Mr. McFaul said. “This is a major moment in European history. We have not had annexation since the beginning of World War II — let’s be clear about that. And the righting of the wrongs of the past — you cannot annex other countries and just, you know, everybody needs to turn the page and move on. So I think President Putin’s actions today demand a response from the United States: increase sanctions for individuals in the government and in the economy that support that government.”

Mr. McFaul said he wasn’t sure if he believes Mr. Putin when the Russian President says he doesn’t want to push further into Ukraine, but he also said he’s not sure if Mr. Putin even had plans on going into Crimea a few weeks ago.

He added that stabilizing Ukraine’s economy and political system is paramount because any further devolution could lead to violence in eastern Ukraine and, following, the increased likelihood of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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