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March 30, 2014 AT 7:20 AM
Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul said Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to make the future of eastern Ukraine and Moldova points of contention in the wake of Russian forces’ seizure of Crimea. McFaul, an NBC News analyst who served as Obama’s ambassador to Moscow until last month, said the Russians are now in effect saying, “OK, Crimea’s done. We’ve taken that. Now let’s start negotiating about the Ukrainian constitution. Let’s start negotiating about the autonomy of places like Donetsk (in eastern Ukraine).’ As President Kennedy said very famously during the Berlin crisis, he was not going to negotiate about the freedom of Berlin under the guise of ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable.’ This feels a little but like that: they (the Russians) are changing the subject to talk about what they want, not what we want to talk about.”