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US Leadership Notably Absent at Minsk Talks - Former US Ambassador to UN

© AP Photo / Mykola Lazarenko/PoolNormandy Format Meeting
Normandy Format Meeting - Sputnik International
Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said that the US failure to present at the Ukrainian peace talks in Minsk was notable and marks a decline in US leadership.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The lack of a US presence at the Ukrainian peace talks in Minsk this week was significant and marks a decline in US leadership, as the most powerful NATO partner, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said.

“This deal just signed in Minsk was notable by the absence of the President of the United States,” Bolton said on Friday at a Defense Forum Foundation conference. “We are the leaders of the NATO alliance, and if the president [Barack Obama] doesn’t want to lead the NATO alliance, he might do us the courtesy of telling us that.”

The “shattering of the NATO alliance” is now a possibility because of a lack of US leadership, Bolton argued, saying that other NATO allies “don’t see the United States playing a role at all” in the Ukraine crisis.

US President Barack Obama, third left, walks with, from left to right: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; British Prime Minister David Cameron; European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso; French President Francois Hollande; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; after a G7 group photo - Sputnik International
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European leaders in Germany and France, who brokered the peace talks in Minsk, are trying to cut a deal they may find unsatisfactory “until such a time that America gets a president who is prepared to try to prevent the use of military force in Europe to change boundaries,” Bolton said.

Bolton did not indicate the specific measures the US president should undertake regarding a possible settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

The United States has provided Ukraine with non-lethal military assistance, as well as economic aid since the country faced political upheaval and unrest beginning last year. US President Obama has also coordinated with other NATO allies sanctions against Russia for allegedly destabilizing Ukraine.

In recent months, Bolton has announced he is considering running for US president in 2016.

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