JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former ambassador: U.S. should stop trying to make friends with Russia” – Missoula Current (Montana)/ Laura Lundquist

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… Putin, suspecting the U.S. of trying to overthrow him, targeted McFaul for … two years. Russian state media discredited McFaul using propaganda and political harassment. … Obama pulled McFaul out. … [I]s Putin, the man who controls … Russian government and media, really so popular? McFaul isn’t so sure. … Russia is the most highly surveilled country in the world … many protesters were arrested …. Russians aren’t likely to publicly say no when asked if they support Putin, so it’s hard to know what they think, McFaul said. For now, McFaul said, the U.S. should return to Cold War attitudes: Try to deter Russia’s efforts to control other nations but cooperate when we can. ‘I would add a big dose of just forgetting about Russia. I think we spend too much time trying to engage, trying to make them our friends,’ McFaul said. ‘The good news is, with new leadership in Russia, things could change. The bad news is that Putin was just reelected last year. I think he’s going to be in power for as long as he’s healthy.'”

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[featured image is file photo]