Pompeo: Cutting Ukraine Off From Black Sea Is Putin's Next Move Vladimir Putin (Darko Vojinovic/AP)
By Eric Mack | Sunday, 10 April 2022 08:12 PM
Vladimir Putin might not have been able to take Ukraine, but he is not going to stop in at least cutting off Ukraine from the Black Sea by focusing on taking the south, according to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"I don't think any of us should believe for a second that Vladimir Putin's changed," Pompeo told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "He has been the same tyrant for 20 years. He took a fifth of Ukraine, the part called Crimea, during the Obama administration. He's now conducting this land war, this invasion.
"He didn't do that when America was leading for four years while President [Donald] Trump and I were running America's national security team. He won't change his ways. His objectives aren't going to change. He wants to rebuild greater Russia. It looks like he's going to move to the south and southeast and begin to try to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea. That looks like his military next set of moves."
What changed, Pompeo told told host John Catsimatidis, was American leadership, or lack thereof, emboldening another Putin invasion of Ukraine.
"There is no doubt that his perception of American resolve changed fundamentally when President Biden came into office," Pompeo continued. "The risk seemed low. The cost he would have to pay seemed reasonable. And he began to prepare the assault we've seen take place in the main four regions of the Ukraine."
Putin not only saw weakness after the deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan that handed the country back to the Taliban, but also the unwillingness by the Biden administration to keep Putin in check.
"It wasn't just Afghanistan," Pompeo said. "Remember, the president said a minor incursion is OK? When the Russians shut down the Colonial Pipeline for several days. The president said, 'Don't do that again.'
"The first American leader to go meet with Vladimir Putin wasn't the secretary of defense. Or the secretary of state. Or the President. It was Secretary [John] Kerry. They put climate change at the top of the list. That showed him weakness and a lack of resolve."
Unwinding America's energy independence was the nexus for Putin moving forward with the invasion under Biden, Pompeo said.
"American energy is at the very center of this," he said. "Gas prices at home through the roof. Food prices are going to follow. It's going to get really expensive here for ordinary families.
"A good part of that is the fact that we didn't do the right thing to make sure that we were producing American energy for ourselves, and to support Europeans so that they weren't dependent on Vladimir Putin for their natural gas and their crude oil."
Now, Biden is going to be unwilling to check Putin's backup: China and President Xi Jinping.
"Watch the Chinese allow the Russians continue to advance and then scoop up Russian oil and gas with big pipelines being built so they get this product at a discount," Pompeo concluded. "This war has proven to be a tremendous boon to Xi Jinping and the Chinese communists."