A former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, has criticized Western leaders for their naive approaches to resolving the conflict in Ukraine.
McFaul argues that diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions have proven ineffective in persuading Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease hostilities.
According to McFaul, Putin will only come to the negotiating table when his military forces are unable to advance further.
Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, believes that the diplomatic overtures and economic sanctions imposed by Western countries have had little impact on Putin's actions.
He contends that the Russian leader is motivated by power, not emotions, and will only consider negotiations when his military is stalled on the battlefield.
The real trigger for negotiations
McFaul suggests that the key to bringing Putin to the negotiating table lies in military stalemate.
He argues that Putin will only consider peace talks when his military forces are unable to make further advances.
This perspective contradicts the views of some Western leaders, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, who have advocated for a more diplomatic approach, cautioning against humiliating Putin.
Unfortunately, according to McFaul, the Russian military is currently not facing any significant setbacks, making it unlikely for Putin to seek a peaceful resolution in the near future.
McFaul warns that the brutality displayed by Russian forces in the ongoing conflict indicates that Putin will only pull back when his military can no longer advance.