Madeleine Albright: Putin Acting Like a 'New Czar'

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 09:51 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is nostalgic for the former Soviet Union and acts like a "new czar" with his aggression into Ukraine and takeover of Crimea, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on MSNBC.

"Those of us that have dealt with Putin know how he thinks. And he really is nostalgic and believes that he's some kind of a new czar," said Albright, who served under former President Bill Clinton. "President Putin is basically devising his own history."

"Putin can either divide the West or make clear that we are in all this together," Albright told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday.

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Events are not "going in the right direction" because Putin is "making all kinds of advances into other parts of Ukraine in terms of issuing passports and doing a lot of propaganda," Albright said.

President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Europe is an opportunity to "make a very strong statement about the unity of the West," she said.

The former secretary said diplomacy "continues to be a very important tool," as well as the impact of economic measures. She said a military response does not always entail boots on the ground, but could include "exercises and support." She said a military response was a tool that "has to also be on the table."

Solutions will be "difficult, long-term, essential," Albright said, and stressed the need for recognizing the implications of events in Ukraine.

"It's going to take a long time. We do need to keep sustained interest, because it is absolutely crucial. But we have to keep our mind on Ukraine," she said.


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