Bolton: Obama 'Stunningly Isolationist' on Ukraine

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 08:50 PM

By Greg Richter

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says that President Barack Obama is wrong to say the struggle in Ukraine is not a competition between the United States and Russia.

"It's a stunningly isolationist statement by the president of the United States," Bolton said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

The deadly riots that have left dozens dead in the capital city of Kiev in recent days represent a struggle over whether Russia or the West will have the dominant political influence in the country, he said. Protesters favor having the country align with Europe while government forces are aligned with Russia.

"Right now, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's winning," Bolton said.

The Ukrainian Parliament voted for government forces to back off, but Bolton called that action "pretty much worthless." There was barely a quorum for the vote because government supporters tried to boycott it, and the resolution called for protesters to disarm, which Bolton said will never happen.

Obama's statement essentially says the United States has no interest in Ukraine, and we just "wish all the best for the demonstrators," Bolton said.

He was no more optimistic of the efforts of three European foreign ministers who are reportedly working through the night in Kiev to resolve the issue. They are unlikely, he said, to have any lasting political effect.

The opposition protesters are demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. The protests are part of a battle over Ukraine's identity. Its 46 million citizens are divided over being a part of Europe or drawing closer to Russia. Ukraine was a part of the former Soviet Union.

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