No one really expects — on either side of the pond — an improvement in the U.S.-Russia relations that have long been complex, to say the least. The past couple of days cooled the relationship a couple of degrees.
In an interview with ABC that was taped Tuesday and aired Wednesday, President Joe Biden was asked what price Vladimir Putin must pay for, according to a National Intelligence report that came that day, authorizing operations to “denigrate” Biden in the 2020 election. In his confused manner, Biden said: “He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I — the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.’” George Stephanopoulos went on asking: “So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?” And Biden said “Uh-huh. I do… The price he’s gonna pay we’ll — you’ll see shortly. I’m not gonna — there’s — by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression ‘walk and chew gum at the same time,’ there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.” Our president is just so articulate and clear, I am surprised the Russian side — or anyone, for that matter — could even make any sense of that word soup.
Nonetheless, Russians did, and recalled their Ambassador Anatoly Antonov from Washington to discuss future relations between the two nations, Reuters reported. Russian officials said the decision was a bid to ensure diplomatic relations won’t be further damaged. “We are interested in preventing an irreversible deterioration in relations, if the Americans become aware of the risks associated with this,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in a statement. Dmitri Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, described Biden’s comments as “very bad.” “He clearly does not want to improve relations with our country, and we will be proceeding based precisely on this,” Peskov told reporters today.
Putin himself commented on Biden’s jab in a “it takes one to know one” spirit: “In the history of every people, every state, there are a lot of hard, dramatic and bloody events. But when we evaluate other people or even other governments, we always look as if into the mirror. We always see ourselves in it.”
The Biden administration took its first major swipe at Vladimir Putin in early March, coordinating with the European Union on a slate of sanctions on Kremlin officials close to the Russian president in retaliation for the poisoning and jailing of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most prominent domestic critic.
The moves drew sharp condemnation from the Kremlin but were praised by both sides of the aisle in Washington. Some Republican lawmakers argued that the White House should have been even harsher to send a message against Russian influence operations abroad — specifically in Western Europe.
The expanded sanctions spared Russian banks and businesses that the opposition says are critical to Putin’s authoritarian rule. They also did not directly address, for now, charges that Russian agents were behind the massive SolarWinds hack of government and private-sector networks last year.
Relations between the United States and Russia have been challenging in recent years, made worse by the Kremlin-backed invasions of Crimea and the ongoing military operation in support of the rebellious regions in Ukraine, Moscow’s interference in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny’s, and the devastating, massive cyberattack on U.S. government and private computer systems, for which Russia has been blamed by intelligence officials.
Despite the mainstream media’s four-year-long smear campaign against Trump that tried to depict him as Russian puppet, and a failed Mueller investigation, U.S.-Russian relations remained chilling. President Trump pragmatically pursued American national interests in the region. Both Russian officials and the foreign policy “expert” community felt deeply disappointed with that fact. The “America First” approach executed in the European region harmed Russia and profited America. That included new political and trade sanctions on Russia; reshaping of the European market of natural gas with America gaining a much bigger share; sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine to counteract Russian military operations in Ukrainian Donbass; and the U.S. withdrawal from the INF nuclear treaty that benefited China. At the same time, the trade between the United States and Russia increased under Trump to $27 billion. As a smart businessman and a true patriot, Donald Trump brought billions of dollars to America.
Joe Biden’s handlers have a much different approach to American foreign policy and U.S.-Russian relations. While Trump executed nation-centered “live and let live” style in international relations, the Democrats are globalists, and will try to expand American involvement in global politics. Thus, the U.S.-Russia drama must be viewed in this large context. For patriots, Russia is a competitor; for globalists, it is more of an adversary. “America First” patriotism is more pragmatic and more fruitful for America. It is also healthier for the world and global security because patriots avoid military interventions and rely on trade and diplomacy with minimal to no involvement in the domestic policy of others. Globalism only benefits those on top; it is oriented not just on wealth but mostly on power and influence.
That’s why we’ve seen so many wars in God-forgotten corners of the Earth under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as “color revolutions” that were sponsored and orchestrated by the globalists in the United States and the European Union. The “revolutions” brought to power loyal, but deeply corrupt, governments that worsened the social and economic state of the targeted countries and thus destabilized the whole regions. That age will likely to return under Biden and his pro-war cabinet members such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as well as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Russia is not our friend, but it is not our enemy either. There are serious doubts that the globalists who have returned to the White House will make the most of the potential of cooperation when it’s feasible.