Former Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been caught off guard by the West’s united front deploying tough sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine — and that the Biden administration deserves credit for helping foster that unity.
“Putin perceived weakness and disunity,” McMaster, a retired Army lieutenant general, told CNN in a phone interview. “But what he got instead was an extremely high degree of unity.”
Sanctions levied on Russia have left the country’s economy in tatters. The ruble is barely worth a penny, the Russian stock market has been shut for a month and Moscow is at a risk of its first international default in more than a century.
“The Biden administration needs credit for the degree with which they fostered international unity against Russia, especially in economic and diplomatic realms,” said McMaster, now a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.