Russian President Vladimir Putin's cease-fire proposal to Ukraine is an attempt to undermine the unity of their support by NATO countries, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Putin offered a seven-point peace plan
on Wednesday that could lead to a cease-fire between Ukraine's military and rebel forces in the eastern part of the country.
Brzezinski dismissed the plan, and said the media should not jump to conclusions that Ukraine had agreed to the offer.
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"Putin is trying to undermine that unity by proposing this sort of phony peace settlement of several points that he's planning to discuss with" Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Brzezinski said Thursday. "The Western press, at least what I have seen of it, is making a mistake in assuming the Ukrainians have accepted the plan."
The proposal presented an "opportunity for talking," and Ukraine and the West could "make counter proposals," Brzezinski said, adding accepting it would put Ukraine in an uncomfortable position with Russia.
"The plan itself is essentially designed . . . to drag the Ukrainians into a relationship in which the government in Kiev has to negotiate with thugs armed by Putin, with Putin sitting on the sidelines and pretending that he's not involved," he said.
Within Russia, he said some were questioning Putin's mental stability as he continued to seek to expand Russia's territorial reach.
"More and more people within Russia, even at the top, are beginning to think that he's slightly mad, that he is not conducting an intelligent effective policy, but is weakening and isolating Russia. And, if push comes to shove, it's eventual fate might be to become a vassal of China," he said.
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