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McFaul backs Obama's Russian sanctions strategy

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Tuesday defended President Obama’s handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

Republicans have criticized Obama for not acting tough enough, but McFaul argues former Republican presidents never even sanctioned Russia.

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“Do you know how many Russian government officials the Bush administration sanctioned? Zero. Do you know how many Ronald Reagan sanctioned after the crackdown in Poland? Zero. President Eisenhower, who ran on rollback communism? Zero. So, you know, have a little perspective here,” McFaul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I think we should judge this eight years from now, not what happens eight days from now,” he added.

The only way to deter Russia from annexing more of eastern Ukraine is to threaten “serious sanctions,” McFaul said.

McFaul also defended the decision to not target Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe Memo: Russia tensions rise with Navalny's life in balance How to defeat Vladimir Putin Russian fighter jet intercepts US, Norwegian patrol aircraft over Barents Sea: report MORE with specific sanctions.

Read more from The Hill.