Biden Says No More U.S. ‘Rolling Over’ to Russia

President Joe Biden said Thursday the United States will no longer be “rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions” and demanded release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

In toughly worded remarks pivoting from his predecessor Donald Trump’s muted approach to Moscow, Biden warned of “advancing authoritarianism” in China and Russia.

The speech at the State Department thrust Russia back onto the front burner of the U.S. diplomatic agenda after four years during which Trump largely pushed the worsening relationship with Moscow to the side and consistently refused to criticize Putin.

Biden said that in his first phone call with the Russian leader since taking office on January 20 he “made it clear” to Putin that the relationship was changing.

“We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interest and our people,” Biden said, highlighting a massive cyber attack and election interference blamed on Moscow.

“The days of the United States rolling over… are over,” he said.

Biden also devoted part of his speech to unusually direct criticism of the authorities’ treatment of Navalny — comments that are sure to irk the Russian leadership.

Navalny, one of the last openly active opponents to Putin, narrowly escaped death from a severe poisoning which he blames on Russian security services.

He has now been imprisoned in Moscow, while thousands of people have been arrested for protesting on his behalf.

“The Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community,” Biden said.

“Mr Navalny, like all Russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the Russian constitution. He’s been targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and without condition.”

Biden said there were areas where he was willing to work with the Kremlin, notably the New START treaty on curbing nuclear weapons, which the two countries extended for five years this week.

Trump had planned to let the treaty expire, citing what he said was Russia’s non-compliance. 

However, Biden’s national security team argues that the world’s two most heavily armed countries need to do everything possible to keep a cap on nuclear stockpiles.

“We will be more effective in dealing with Russia,” Biden said, reiterating his frequent call during the speech for the United States to rebuild traditional alliances with democratic countries.

Earlier, Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan warned that Washington was planning measures against Russia “at a time and a manner of our choosing.”

“Unlike the previous administration, we will be taking steps to hold Russia accountable for the range of malign activities that it has undertaken,” he said.

(c) The Moscow Times

11 comments

  • Yeah yeah, he’s been chalking his cue stick for 7 years and hasn’t shot a ball yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Trump did not talk, but he did act. Nice words for Putin, but Javelins, sanctions and more troops in Eastern Europe.

    Biden will talk tough and no actions will follow. We have seen this before.

    Biden also said ‘Diplomacy is back!’. Anyone out here who thinks diplomacy will impress the mafioso in Moscow?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Trump acted because he had no option. Bipartisan support for Ukraine made sure sanctions and weapons were applied.

      Liked by 2 people

      • This is from the Chicago Tribune about sending Javelins in 2017:

        ‘Trump had been considering the plan for some time after the State Department and the Pentagon signed off earlier this year. President Barack Obama also considered sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, but left office without doing so.’

        This ‘bipartisan’ support is fake. The Dems had almost three years to send them, GOP would not have blocked anything. The Dems made it look like they support it but Trump does not. After only six months in office, the Javelins arrived.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Depends which media you read. Radio Free Liberty have their own opinion.

          “After months of heated debate in Washington and, reportedly, much reluctance on the part of U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House was said to have approved the Javelin sale in December.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • I go with the Chicago Tribune. The ukrainian press and RFE/RL were against Trump from the beginning. Then add the crap about RuSSia interfering in the elections in favor of Trump. Trump was slowly converted into a pro-ruSSian thanks to this, and thanks to some fuckers surrounding him, in particular Giuliani. It doesn’t matter. In four years from now you will be free to tell me what glorious support for Ukraine was provided by the hair-sniffer. 😎

            Liked by 2 people

  • I have zero expectations of his Fraudulency doing anything to aid Ukraine. The Obama regime did next to nothing and the people pulling Biden’s strings don’t want anything done.

    Liked by 1 person

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