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Former US Ambassador: Putin Has No Interest in Resolving Ukraine Conflict

FILE - Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tells VOA that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no interest in resolving the conflict in Ukraine because it serves his interest.

McFaul said Thursday that Putin likes the open-ended, low grade military confrontation in the former Soviet republic because it works to undermine the government in Kyiv.

The former U.S. diplomat says none of this is about to change because unlike Mikhail Gorbachev, Putin wants the U.S. as an enemy.

When asked about what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other officials in Moscow have described as the United States' “overt anti-Russian propaganda,” McFaul said the United States has not been involved in activities directly challenging Putin's government, which he said would be counterproductive.

"I think it is in Putin's interest to describe us as the enemy. So, no amount of diplomacy will ever change that," said McFaul. He said the United States needs to be involved in speaking up for democratic ideals.

More than 6,000 civilians, rebels and Ukrainian servicemen have been killed in eastern Ukraine since fighting broke out there between government and separatist forces a year ago.

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