As news broadcasts showed live pictures of a burning protest site in Kiev, Ukraine, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned that the United States may again find itself in a great power rivalry with Russia.
The U.S. government is "effectively silent and inactive" as people protest for freedom in Ukraine and Venezuela, Bolton said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
If Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, can re-establish hegemony over Ukraine, the other former Soviet republics won't be far behind, Bolton said.
"We have a lot riding on this, and we cannot count, as we have seen over the past year or so . . . on the European Union doing anything effective to stop the Russians from re-establishing their influence," Bolton said.
Anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela
, caused that country's government to demand the expulsion of three U.S. consular officials on Sunday.
"Friends of the United States, friends of liberty . . . are out there trying to prevent their government from succumbing to autocracy. And the U.S. government is effectively silent and inactive," Bolton said.
The United States' inaction could be a huge turning point in history, Bolton said. Putin is a "man with a strategic vision and an autocratic mentality. In Obama we've got a weak, feckless, inattentive president who not only doesn't know what America's interests are, I don't think [he] particularly cares about American national security. He's devoted to transforming America domestically."
U.S. influence is slipping all over the world, Bolton said, including in the Middle East.
"We will pay the price of this for a long time unless people speak up," he said.
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