Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is undertaking a good faith effort to improve his country’s economic and political systems, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday’s edition of the Breitbart News Daily podcast with host Alex Marlow.
Pompeo said Zelenesky is trying to align Ukraine more with Western democratic and free market principles.
“Zelensky is trying,” he stated. “He is trying to build out a more democratic Ukraine. It is problematic. There are oligarchs there. There is corruption in Ukraine. Those things are all true, but my sense of Volodymyr Zelensky is he joined [politics], and he didn’t come out of politics. He came out of a different space and he is legitimately trying to build a freer, more prosperous, more capitalist, Western-facing, European/American-facing Ukraine than his predecessors were and it is a tough slog.”
Marlow asked Pompeo for a “30,000-foot” assessment of ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Pompeo replied, “This is an enormous failure of American leadership. People ask me, ‘Mike, would this have happened if you were still secretary of state?’, and, while I can’t prove that, it seems unfathomable that it would have happened. My best evidence is that for four years, Vladimir Putin was the same human being that he is today, and he didn’t do this.”
He continued, “What changed? What changed is the global view of America as a country of decency and strength, and the willingness to promote sovereign borders wherever we could assist, and Putin saw weakness. He saw what happened in Afghanistan, not only the debacle of the departure, but the 13 Americans that were killed there.”
“[Putin] saw — from his soil — American pipelines shut down, southeast gas lines shut down, and President Biden meets him and just wags the finger,” he concluded. “He saw opportunity, combined with his deep desire to rebuild a security zone around his own country, and he said, I believe I can do this and the cost to me will be exceedingly low, and so far, I fear, he’s been proven correct.”
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