Former President Jimmy Carter said President Obama couldn’t have done anything to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from annexing Crimea.

“I think that was a foregone conclusion,” Carter said on MSNBC. “He was going to do it regardless of the consequences. I think now, that’s far enough.” 

In comments Monday on “Morning Joe,” Carter compared Obama’s response to his own decisions at the White House in 1979, when he decided to boycott Moscow’s Summer Olympics after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

The United States and its European allies, Carter said, should take the same stand today as they did back then.

{mosads}“I withdrew our ambassador; I put in place a grain embargo. I began to help the freedom fighters push out the Soviet troops, and I warned Russia — the Soviet Union then — that, if they went into a different country, we would respond militarily with all of the weapons we had at our disposal,” he said.

Asked if President Obama’s response to Russia has been full-throated, Carter said Obama couldn’t have prevented Putin from moving east. 

“I don’t think there was any way to separate Crimea permanently from Russia,” said Carter, who added that Russians still considered Crimea their own, ever since Nikita Khrushchev gifted the peninsula to Ukraine in the 1950s when both countries were a part of the USSR.

Carter did say the U.S. has to draw a line before Russia expands any further.

“I don’t think that President Obama or anyone else could have done any more to prevent crisis in Crimea. We have to draw the line there between additional expanse of Russia into Ukraine,” he said.

Tags Barack Obama Crimea Jimmy Carter Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin
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