November 27, 2022

The next is a transcript of an interview with Kurt Volker, the previous ambassador to NATO and particular consultant for Ukraine, that aired Sunday, March 6, 2022, on “Face the Country.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: We are joined now by way of Kurt Volker. He was once a former US envoy to Ukraine and previous US ambassador to NATO, and he joins us now. Thanks for coming at the program. You may have been arguing for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO says that is off the desk. America, no approach, no how, no struggle troops as a result of President Biden says this is able to cause International Conflict III. Why is he mistaken?

FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO KURT VOLKER: Neatly, I believe there are methods to try this that mitigate the ones dangers, if not- does not get rid of the chance, however mitigates the chance of direct warfare with Russia. First off, I believe we need to acknowledge that the civilian casualties and the horrific scenes that we simply noticed are going to worsen. They are now not going to recover. There is going to be huge airstrikes towards Kyiv, towards different towns, and it’ll be completely devastating. So if we will save you that from a humanitarian viewpoint, I believe we- we want to check out. And the way in which to try this that I’d suggest is we shed light on the humanitarian functions. We restrict the scope geographically to Kyiv and western Ukraine, so we are not getting with reference to Russian borders. We shed light on that we will be able to best fireplace if fired upon on any flooring objectives. We don’t seem to be there to strike the rest. We shed light on to the Russian army that we will be able to now not strike their airplane or their helicopters so long as they keep out of doors the zone. After which there are laws of engagement that our Air Pressure and others are excellent at, of escorting other people out of a zone with out fireplace if they are now not fired upon. And I believe we practice all of the ones issues so as to check out to create a secure house for the civilians.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: So different former ambassadors to NATO have made the general public argument that that is unrealistic as a result of you would need to take out Russian programs now not best in Ukraine, however lengthy vary ones within Russia. You pass to struggle like this.

AMB. VOLKER: You do not do this as a result of that does deliver us immediately into the battle. Russia does now not need us within the battle, and I believe we’re letting Putin get within our heads and deter us from doing issues to give protection to civilians, fairly than taking into consideration that he does now not need the United States or different nations supporting Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So if the function in the long run, diplomatically, is to prevent the carnage and forestall the struggle, how do you get Vladimir Putin to backtrack? Who can in reality do this? For the reason that Germans attempted, the French attempted, the Israelis attempted. No person’s gotten any luck. The USA is chatting with China. Who can do that?

AMB. VOLKER: The Ukrainian other people can do that. The Ukrainian individuals are there. They’re decided. They’re combating. We’re lucky that we would not have to be ready of combating Putin or seeking to prevent him. The Ukrainian individuals are able to try this, and that’s the reason why it’s vital that we give them each little bit of make stronger and help we will.

MARGARET BRENNAN: While you say it is going to worsen, I imply, the French president has indicated that is principally what Vladimir Putin advised him. Inform me what you- what’s the situation the general public wishes to organize for. As a result of NATO’s already pronouncing cluster bombs are getting used. You pay attention improbable accusations from the Ukrainian executive about what is going on. America intelligence says lists of other people to ship to camps are being drawn up. Is that this a situation the place you’ll see anyone sitting down and negotiating some way out?

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AMB. VOLKER: On no account, no. We need to remember the fact that Putin is bent on an army victory. He needs to break Ukraine, decapitate the management. He does not care about what number of casualties this reasons, what occurs to the civilian inhabitants. It is a messianic challenge that he’s on. For this reason he must be stopped. And once more, we will do issues to help the Ukrainians. More than pleased to listen to Secretary Blinken say that we are actually greenlighting the airplane from Poland to Ukraine. We will have to be offering a few of our personal A-10 airplane that we are able to place into garage. There are educated Ukrainian pilots who use them. We will have to be having a look at extra way to get extra make stronger in briefly. What the UN Top Commissioner simply mentioned was once they want tranquil spaces within Ukraine. In western Ukraine, there are spaces the place there’s no Russian combating now. Lets attempt to lend a hand create the ones tranquil spaces for supply of help. So a lot more we might be doing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there the political will for that? You served within the Trump management. Former Vice President Pence mentioned Friday, “there’s no room within the Republican Birthday celebration for apologists for Putin.” It is more or less bizarre he needed to say that. 

AMB. VOLKER: Yeah, yeah. We’ve got heard that during our- in our media. We’ve got heard that from some politicians right here. However I believe- you heard additionally from Adam Schiff. There’s improbable bipartisan harmony within the Congress, Senate and the Area, and amongst mavens and nationwide safety figures right here within the nation. Everybody sees what Putin is doing. There’s- there’s no make stronger for this in anyway. Complete make stronger for Ukraine. The one query is how some distance we pass to lend a hand Ukraine.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: Used to be the previous president an apologist for Putin? That is what the vp was once pronouncing.

AMB. VOLKER: Neatly I am not going to cross a judgment on that. We heard what he mentioned. You understand, he mentioned that Putin was once appearing in a sensible, savvy approach. I imply, that is not the messaging that you need to ship. Messaging you need to ship is that he’s appearing in an irresponsible, inhuman approach, killing other people in an unjustified struggle, and we will have to be at the aspect of the Ukrainians to lend a hand them.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thanks, ambassador, for becoming a member of us lately. We’re going to be proper again.