Russia Expert: ‘Everything that the President Is Advocating Only Benefits the Kremlin’

Russia Expert: ‘Everything that the President Is Advocating Only Benefits the Kremlin’

President Trump’s policy decisions concerning Russia are favorable only to Vladimir Putin, an expert on the nation explained Saturday on MSNBC’s AM Joy.

Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, said Trump is not taking the proper steps to counter Russian influence abroad.

“Putin wants to have sanctions lifted, he wants to be excused for having seized Crimea and being denounced by the United Nations unanimously,” Farkas said. “He wants to be excused for the war that continues to be fought in eastern Ukraine. He wants to be excused for occupying 20 percent of Georgia. He wants to be excused for killing 298 innocent civilians in an airplane shoot-down over Ukraine.”

“[Putin] is not going to be excused until he changes his behavior,” she continued, adding that he has shown no signs of doing so. “We aren’t punishing him enough for the ongoing infractions of international law.”

President Trump has faced constant criticism for his approach towards Russia, whether it was his siding with Putin over his own intelligence agencies regarding election interference or the withdrawal of troops from Syria which allowed Russian forces to acquire a stronger foothold in the oil-rich region.

On the issue of Ukraine, furthermore, Trump reportedly has little interest in supporting the key U.S. ally currently fighting Russian troops on its own soil. Instead, he has apparently prioritized his own political interests by pushing a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.

“Make no mistake,” Farkas said, “everything that the president is advocating [for] only benefits the Kremlin, and if the Kremlin gets away with what it’s doing, which is in some cases murder, it is actually going to continue … invading neighboring countries, putting pressure — economic, political — trying to tear down the international system.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.