Former diplomat Kurt Volker told Newsmax on Friday that it would be a ''costly endeavor'' for Russia to invade and try to take over Ukraine.
''The Ukrainian president does not want to appear weak or show weakness to the Ukrainian people. He needs to show strength and resolve,'' Volker said on ''American Agenda.'' ''I also think that he's right that Russia would not be able to take over the entire country and defeat Ukraine and reoccupy the whole thing. It would be too much for Russia to do that.
''I agreed that a Russian attack against Ukraine is likely, but I also believe that Ukraine has a lot of strength and resilience and will make that a very costly endeavor for Russia.''
Volker, who served as ambassador to NATO and a voluntary special representative for Ukraine under the administration of then-President Donald Trump, said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been clear about what he wants as he amasses an estimated 100,000 troops along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
''Putin has actually said what he wants, which is he wants to restrict Ukraine's sovereignty and be sure that they can never become a member of NATO,'' Volker said. ''[He wants to] see NATO military equipment rolled back away from central and east European states that have long become members of NATO.
''He also has seized Crimea already illegally from Ukraine, and he would like to connect that territory of Crimea directly to the Russian mainland by land. So, I think he has a lot of objectives in mind, and he's been pretty clear about them,'' Volker said.
He added that the Ukrainian government is worried that this international tension could lead Russia and the United States to make decisions without consulting them, even though they are the nation facing a possible invasion.
In a post on Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he wants to make sure Ukraine is in the loop with both the United States and Russia before any agreement is reached.
''We had seen the written response of the U.S. before it was handed over to Russia,'' his post read. ''No objections on the Ukrainian side. Important that the U.S. remains in close contact with Ukraine before and after all contacts with Russia. No decisions on Ukraine without Ukraine. Golden rule.''
Volker agreed that the needs of Ukraine must be considered.
''We are talking about 40 million people, a sovereign state,'' Volker said. ''It's their country, not ours. We want to help them, but we should be putting their interests upfront and talking to them first.''
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