Former presidential foreign policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said Friday that the United States should provide arms to Ukraine in its fight against Moscow-backed separatists.
In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe,"
Brzezinski, national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter, said Russia is using force to destabilize Ukraine to prevent it from joining the European community.
If Moscow succeeds, Brzezinski said, the NATO alliance would be "proven to be empty, and then of course the Baltic States would be next."
Brzezinski said he supported measures such as lethal aid to Ukraine. If Ukraine falters, "all of those countries would be at risk" and "what's worse, the alliance would look weak and discredited."
But he added that Washington should make clear that it does not seek Ukrainian membership in NATO because "it would be a dagger pointed at the heart" of Moscow.
If the United States provides such assurances and Russia persists in trying to undermine Ukraine, Brzezinski added, "What choice do we have but to withdraw from Europe altogether, because if NATO collapses, the [U.S.-European] alliance is really empty."
Two weeks ago, Brzezinski told the Senate Armed Services Committee
that Washington "should make available defensive weaponry to Ukraine."
Failing to provide that assistance, "simply increases Russia's intentions to escalate tensions," Brzezinski told senators. "Putin is playing with fire, financing and arming a local rebellion."
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