There is little the United States can do to help Ukraine in its struggle against Russia's move into its territory until President Barack Obama is out of office, says former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren,
" Bolton said the United States should encourage Ukraine to avoid any interim agreements with Moscow that lock it in beyond three years.
"Then we have to hope that in the United States three years from now we get a real president. Then we may be able to do something," he said.
Until then, Bolton said, the options are few. The ones that seem attractive at the moment, such as economic sanctions,
are not likely to get European support. Europe gets oil and natural gas from Russia in pipelines that run through Ukraine.
Bolton said Russian President Vladimir Putin "read" Obama in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia and then-candidate Obama called on both sides to exercise restraint.
Putin likely thinks if he can get his way in Ukraine he can do the same in the other former Soviet republics as well, Bolton said. Russia will also move into Egypt and other areas, he says.
"I think all over the world, friends and adversaries alike will see a declining, weak, inattentive president," Bolton told Van Susteren.
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