What You Need To Know:
✔️ There is insufficient understanding in the West about the threat Putin poses;
✔️ US President Barack Obama has contracted the resolution of the crisis out to German Chancellor Angela Merkel;
✔️ It will take a terrible development in Ukraine to get Obama to change his mind on providing lethal assistance.
"I don't think there has been sufficient understanding in the West about what is at stake...and the threat that Putin's Russia poses to our values," said David Kramer, director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at the McCain Institute.
According to Kramer, US President Barak Obama has stepped back "too far" from events in Ukraine. "He has contracted the resolution of the crisis out to [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel, who is doing the best she can," said Kramer.
Kramer told Hromadkse that he believes that it will take a terrible development in Ukraine, such as a further serious invasion of the East, for Obama to change his mind on providing Ukraine with lethal assistance. At the moment, according to Kramer, there is bi-partisan support in US House and Senate for lethal assisstance. Moreover, the Secretary of State, Vice President, Secretary of Defence, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and The Supreme Allied Commander - have all indicated their suport.
"We spent considerable time on the Reset policy trying to establish good relations. We talked about a win-win approach but the problem is Putin doesn't view things in win-win terms. He views things in zero sum terms and when Putin returned to the presidency, the re-set policy ended". This lead Obama stopped paying attention to Russia, said Kramer.
According to Kramer, Kerry's visit to Sochi was ill-advised as Russia was offering nothing new. "It gave the impression that we're desperate to restore relations and go back to business as usual when we should recognize Russia for the threat that it is," said Kramer.
He also expressed his concern that the EU would fail to reach consensus on extending its sanctions against Russia. "Russia has been working very agressively to try and peal and few EU member states away," said Kramer.
Hromadske International's Angelina Kariankina spoke with David Kramer on June 1, 2015.