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MSNBC analyst Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia under Obama, on Monday denounced the Biden administration’s decision not to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine, fearing that Ukrainian forces could potentially use them against the Russian homeland.
During an appearance on ‘Katy Tur Reports’, a frustrated McFaul claimed President Biden’s decision was ‘a losing strategy’ and predicted the only way the war would end without Russia conquering Ukraine would be that the United States give the Ukrainians the equipment “they need.”
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Biden announced on Monday that the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) would not be sent to Ukraine following reports from multiple outlets that the administration was indeed planning to do so.
The MLRS was reportedly one of the main demands of Ukrainian officials, who said they needed it to stop the advance of Russian forces in the east of the country.
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Host Katy Tur began by noting a tweet McFaul posted over the weekend in reaction to Biden announcing that rocket systems would not be sent to Ukraine. In the tweet, he suggested that increasing arms would “speed up a diplomatic solution” and that not doing so would “prolong the war”.
McFaul told Tur that one way to resolve concerns about the use of rockets against Russia would be to sign an agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promising not to use the weapons in Russia.
“I think that’s a better solution than sitting in Washington and trying to modulate and calculate exactly what we want the Ukrainians to do on the battlefield,” he said.
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He suggested there was no evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin would escalate the war because of US moves, and claimed any escalation that might occur in Ukraine would require “trust” that the Ukrainians “know their security interests better than we do”.
“You sound frustrated,” Tur said, noting the austere tone in McFaul’s voice.
“I just think it’s a losing strategy,” he said.
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“There will only be an end to this war in three different scenarios: one, Putin conquers all of Ukraine, two, Ukraine pushes Russia out of Ukraine, or three, there is an immediate stalemate. For me, option two and option three are the ones we should support, and the way you do that is to give Ukrainians [what] they must achieve one of these two outcomes,” he added.