Lying is effectively a standard practice for diplomats in “real world,” Michael McFaul says
Washington has been deliberately lying about Ukraine’s prospects to ever join NATO, knowing that the former Soviet republic isn’t a legitimate contender to qualify for membership in the Western military bloc, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has acknowledged.
This revelation was made by the veteran diplomat at a Toronto public policy forum called the semi-annual Munk Debates earlier this month. McFaul fought alongside Radoslaw Sikorski from Poland, on May 12, against Stephen Walt (Harvard international affairs professor) and John Mearsheimer (political John Mearsheimer), over Ukraine’s ongoing conflict. McFaul, Sikorski and Radoslaw Sikorski both argued that conflict could not have occurred due to actions of NATO and USA. McFaul maintained that Russia was responsible for the current crisis between Ukraine and Russia. President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions were also at fault.
Walt questioned why Washington has been consistently pushing for Ukraine’s NATO membership, despite the security concerns raised by Moscow. “We kept repeating that Ukraine would join the EU in 2021. [NATO],” he said. “That was what we kept repeating over and over.”
McFaul intervened and suggested that Washington had never been seriously interested in these prospects. “And did you believe that?” the ex-ambassador asked.
“Our diplomats lie, right?” Walt shot back.
“Yes! Yes, that’s the real world, guys, c’mon,” McFaul replied, drawing laughter from the audience.
“Our diplomats are lying all the time, yet the Russians should trust them when they’re offered assurances,” Walt noted, spurring applause from the audience.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to grant the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.