NEWSWATCH: “‘But I love Russia, and I love Russians’; Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul speaks to Meduza”

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

First … it is true that the United States … from the very beginning, has had allies that are autocratic regimes. Our first … was France, a monarchy and a dictatorship. … Without the French, we would have lost the war against the British. … then there was the French Revolution, and there was a debate … about whether we support our allies and our interests or these people who wanted democracy. … The second thing I would say is that our most enduring allies have always been democracies. … America’s closest partners …. All of the autocracies with which we’ve had alliance relationships have always been tense. … autocracies can be our allies but they’re never our long-term allies because autocracies have the problem of remaining in power. … Iran was an incredibly close ally of the United States for decades under the Shah. … then … they became our worst enemy. That only happens in autocracies. It doesn’t happen with democratic alliances.

The fourth thing … this tension you’ve highlighted is … real. … a tension between interests and values. The way presidents resolve it is they say we have short-term interests that we have to pursue, and we also need to pursue our long-term values—our long-term interest in supporting values. … I agree …. I think that’s smart. What I think is not smart is the use of military force to promote democracy. …

Click here for Meduza: “‘But I love Russia, and I love Russians’ Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul speaks to Meduza”