Allen West “We have to see Putin for who he is, his long-term strategic goal”

By Lisa Barron for Newsmax

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has softened his rhetoric on Ukraine, it should not be interpreted as backing down, says former Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West.

“The bottom line, the most important thing, is we cannot try to portray Putin in a light that we want to understand. We have to see him for who he is. We have to understand, really, what is his long-term strategic goal.

“If you understand his long-term strategic goal, don’t pay attention to the little things, the information that he’s putting out there. Understand the moves that he’s making,” West told Newsmax TV’s John Bachman on “America’s Forum” Tuesday.

“It’s just the beginning, because Russia without Ukraine is just a small little country, but Russia with Ukraine is truly going back to what Putin wants to restore. He said that the most disappointing thing for him in the 20th century was the collapse of the Soviet Union. This without a doubt is not going to be the end. There’s going to be an expansion.”

West represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District from 2011 to 2013, serving on the House Armed Services Committee and the Small Business Committee.

He said he has his doubts on the effectiveness of imposing U.S. economic sanctions on Russia, explaining, “First of all, you have to understand if you are going to go into these economic sanctions by yourself. I don’t know if Europe is going to be really ready to do something like this because of all those natural gas pipelines and the energy that they draw from Russia and definitely the pipelines that come out of Ukraine.” (Continue Reading Here: Newsmax.com)

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