Putin has signaled a break with the West by pulling back from the nuclear arms treaty
Zelensky’s Address to the U.S. Congress: Ukraine’s War with the United States Embedded in the PAMELA Program
Zelensky’s historic address made both Democrats and Republicans understand the stakes of the fight against Putin and Russian aggression and their ally, Iran, as well.
The speech made it clear that the struggle of Ukrainian people was related to the revolution in the country, and that we should be warm in our homes for Christmas and to know that families will be spent on the front lines.
The US announced a new $1.8 billion aid package to Ukraine, which included the “first-ever transfer to Ukraine of the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, capable of bringing down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles, and aircraft at a significantly higher ceiling than previously provided air defense systems.”
Clinton met Putin as secretary of state, and he believes the leader is unlikely to be able to predict the outcome of the war in Ukraine.
Clinton said that Putin was thinking of throwing more bodies into the fight against the Ukrainians.
Kyiv and its Western allies are “set for a long confrontation with Russia” following President Volodymyr Zelensky’s momentous visit to Washington, Moscow said as the war in Ukraine approaches 10 months.
The foreign ministry of Russia denounced the oppression of the people in Ukraine, after US President Joe Biden said he would give more support to the country.
Maria Zakharova said that the Western countries will not achieve anything because of how much military support they give to the Ukrainian government.
The tasks of the special military operation will be fulfilled according to the instructions of the leader of the country, said Zakharova.
The US Army’s Patriot system is considered one of the most capable long-range air defense systems on the market because of the acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar.
This is not the first time Russia has accused Western nations of turning the conflict into a proxy war by supplying Ukraine with weapons. (Iran has acknowledged providing military drones to Russia.)
Peskov added that “there were no real calls for peace.” Zelensky told the Congress that “we need peace,” repeating the 10-point plan devised by Ukraine.
Peskov said that Wednesday’s meeting showed the US was engaging in an indirect war against Russia.
The Kremlin criticized the trip by the Ukrainian president after he secured billions of dollars in U.S. aid and standing ovations in Congress.
A Russian history professor claims that the Putin government has been selling the line to the Russians.
The majority of Russians are weary of the conflict and still see it as a struggle between Russia and the west, he says.
Zelenskyy and Ukraine made it clear that they want a “just peace,” and all the U.S. has been doing is help them fight Russian aggression, according to Sloat.
Moscow had warned last week that it would see the reported delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine as “another provocative move by the U.S.” Does Sloat worry this could provoke a Russian escalation?
The Rise of China: The Persistence and Support of the Vaccine Diagnosis of the Covid Era after the December 2016 Presidential Reopening
CNN ran a version of the story in their Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three- times-a-week update of what you need to know about the country’s rise and impact on the world. You can sign up here.
After a tumultuous end to a momentous and challenging year, China heads into 2023 with a great deal of uncertainty – and potentially a glimpse of light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
Xi had previously staked his political legitimacy on zero-Covid. Many are questioning his wisdom as his expensive strategy is dismantled following nationwide protests against it. The protests that saw rare demands for the Communist Party’s leadership to step down, may have ended, but the overwhelming sense of frustration continues.
But the haphazard reopening also offers a glimmer of hope for many: after three years of stifling Covid restrictions and self-imposed global isolation, life in China may finally return to normal as the nation joins the rest of the world in learning to live with the virus.
In a nationally televised New Year’s Eve speech, the president said that they were in a new phase of Covid response. There is a light in front of us, and everyone is holding on. Let’s make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory.”
China’s state media had toned down its pro-Russia rhetoric as Russia suffered setbacks in its military campaign in Ukraine, while China agreed to oppose the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine in meetings with Western leaders.
The Chinese pandemic is turning heads in the light of recent high-spin-cancer restrictions and a new era of vaccine hesitancy
The recent lifting of restrictions led to an explosion of cases, with little preparation in place to deal with the rising numbers of patients and deaths.
Hospitals are overcrowded, doctors and nurses are stretched too thin, and crematoriums are not able to keep up with bodies coming in.
And experts warn the worst is yet to come. Less developed cities and the rural hinterland are still expecting more infections, even though Beijing has seen the peak of the outbreak.
The future is not looking good. If China doesn’t roll out booster shots quickly, the death toll could be a lot higher.
The government has launched a booster campaign for the elderly, but many remain reluctant to take it due to concerns about side effects. Fighting vaccine hesitancy will require significant time and effort, when the country’s medical workers are already stretched thin.
The Chinese Pandemic: Looking Forward in the Inflationary Era after CNN’s December 26th Associated Double Anomaly
Any uptick in China’s growth will provide a vital boost to economies that rely on Chinese demand. There will be more international travel. There will be upward pressure on global inflation by the rising prices of energy and raw materials.
Bo Zhuang, senior analyst at Loomis Sayles, a Boston-based firm, thinks that China is poorly prepared to deal with Covid and will likely experience chaos in the short run.
Some experts think that the economy will recover after March. HSBC economists projected a contraction in the first quarter but 5% growth for the rest of the decade in a recent report.
The Chinese people are happy that the border has partially reopened after the end of quashing for international arrivals and outbound travel.
Though some residents voiced concern online about the rapid loosening of restrictions during the outbreak, many more are eagerly planning trips abroad – travel websites recorded massive spikes in traffic within minutes of the announcement on December 26.
Several Chinese nationals overseas told CNN they had been unable or unwilling to return home for the last few years while the lengthy quarantine was still in place. That stretch meant major life moments missed and spent apart: graduations, weddings, childbirths, deaths.
Foreign embassies and tourism departments in some countries have invited Chinese tourists to come back, with invitations being posted on Chinese social media sites. But others are more cautious, with many countries imposing new testing requirements for travelers coming from China and its territories.
Several officials in these countries have pointed out the risk of new versions emerging from China’s outbreak, though many health experts disagree with the targeting of travel restrictions and the risk of inciting further racism and xenophobia.
As China emerges from its self-imposed isolation, all eyes are on whether it will be able to repair its reputation and relations that soured during the pandemic.
An Open Question on the Table: China’s Support for Russia in the Light of the December 30 December U.S.-Russia War in Ukraine
There was a lack of face-to-face diplomacy, the freeze on in-person exchanges among policy advisers and business groups, and the wider public.
Communication lines are back open and more high-level exchanges are in the pipeline – with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Italy’s newly elected Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni all expected to visit Beijing this year.
In the new year, tensions may again flare over Taiwan, technological containment, as well as China’s support for Russia – which Xi underlined during a virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 30.
Both leaders expressed a message of unity, with Xi saying the two countries should “strengthen strategic coordination” and “inject more stability into the world,” according to Chinese state media Xinhua.
Nuland also said that the US had made clear that we were prepared to sanction Chinese companies for supporting the war in Ukraine and that some of them had sneaked up to the edge.
“We’ve seen that China and Russia signed an unlimited partnership, and I think we need more proof and more action to see that China is not supporting Russia,” she told CNN. We have seen the opposite so far. And therefore, there is an open question on the table.”
China, which has its own economic problems, may be unwilling to risk US sanctions that could result from sending arms to Moscow. Beijing may believe that keeping the war going will distract the US from its growing efforts to respond to China’s dominance in Asia.
NPR’s State of Ukraine: Highlights from a Surprise Europe Tour with the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War
The Ukrainian President made a surprise Europe tour in which he met heads of state in London, Paris and Brussels.
The Institute for the Study of War reported that Russian forces began their offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, attacking Ukrainian defensive lines and making marginal advances. The analysts said that Russian forces are trying to encircle Bakhmun, a city in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova attended President Biden’s State of the Union speech, for the second year in a row, but the war in Ukraine received far less attention in the address this time.
The international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead to give the rebels anti-aircraft weapons.
You can read past recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR’s coverage here. You can get the latest updates from NPR’s State of Ukraine, as well as listen and subscribe.
U.S. sanctions and sanctions imposed by Putin and Beijing during the 2014-2015 Russian-Iran war: a world affairs columnist
A former producer and correspondent of CNN, Frida Ghitis is also a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. You can find more opinion on CNN.
Putin smiled as he stood beside the Chinese President in a February of last year. Putin was denying that he planned to invade Ukraine just after the Beijing Winter Olympics ended.
In a show of unity, the leaders of the two nuclear powers vowed to have a relationship with “no limits.” It looked like it was the start of a huge realignment of power in the world.
When there was a shift, engagement with the Russians did not start until barely a month later. Russia’s seizure of territory from Ukraine in 2014-2015 cast a pall over our relationship with Moscow, but it did not break it.
Thousands of sanctions against Russian politicians, tycoons and companies have been imposed by the US since Russia launched its war against Ukraine. As well as hurting Russia, the US has also undermined Russia’s defense-industrial base and imposed a price cap.
In addition to fortifying NATO and strengthening alliances, which President Joe Biden’s administration has accomplished with great success, the US must aim to forestall the creation of a credible, unified force of aggressive antidemocratic regimes.
It involves making certain that Russia doesn’t win in Ukraine, and also keeping Moscow and Beijing apart, in order to counterbalance Beijing’s efforts to forge stronger bonds with Iran.
Much has changed since that day in Beijing, when Xi and Putin smiled for the cameras, expecting a new era to begin. It was clear that democracies need to fight back against antidemocratic regimes despite the war not turning out as expected.
But the rule of the strongest doesn’t work when you can’t win, which is how Russia’s plans started to unravel, and China had to rethink its commitment.
Russia has been buying shells from North Korea which denies having involvement in the war, according to US intelligence.
Iranian drones have been one of the weapons of choice as Russia kills Ukrainian civilians and destroys Ukraine’s infrastructure. Iran denied that it was giving weapons to Russia.
Beijing’s relationship with Tehran is complicated. In December of last year, when China’s president came to Saudi Arabia, he and his hosts noted Iran’s destabilizing activities and their support for terrorist and sectarian groups.
The first Iranian president to visit China in 20 years is Ebrahim Raisi. The trip is meant to implement an agreement for a 25-year strategic partnership between the two at a meeting in 2021.
The Beijing-Tehran ties have raised alarms among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who fear China’s support could help Tehran evade sanctions related to its nuclear and conventional weapons programs, support for terrorism and human rights abuses.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo plans next week to put Russia and its intelligence services on notice: the US is monitoring their efforts to circumvent US sanctions and is cracking down.
“A big piece of this is information and intelligence sharing, which is something we started doing even before Russia’s invasion,” Adeyemo said in an interview with CNN. A big piece of this is the mapping out of an evasion network that allows us to look around and share information.
The thing that we are doing with our colleagues at Commerce is they are slowing Russia down while the Defense Department is helping the Ukrainians. So they’re getting them the arms they need to fight off Russia in their country while Commerce and Treasury are slowing down Russia’s ability to rearm. Adeyemo said they were already seeing a big impact.
Russia’s budget deficit was $47 billion dollars, rather than the forecasted budget surplus of $48 billion dollars. The country has had two highest deficits in the post-Soviet era. In the past nine months, industrial production in Russia has fallen, and we are going to take steps to decimate the Kremlin’s industrial base.
Some observers have said that despite the impact sanctions have had on the Russian economy, they still worry about Moscow’s ability to evade sanctions and re-orient trade routes to continue acquiring technology and financing needed to fund its war machine through countries like Turkey.
Officials said the US is seeing China publicly trying to present itself as a proponent of peace – Wang said in Munich on Saturday that Beijing would be introducing a “peace plan” for Ukraine and Russia – and maintain relationships with Europe, while at the same time quietly aiding Russia’s war effort and considering the provision of lethal aid.
Territorial and sovereignty integrity of all countries will be respected in China’s proposal, Wang said, adding that Beijing will continue to work for peace.
At the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Wang addressed a room of European officials as “dear friends” and touted China’s commitment to peace, while apparently attempting to drive a wedge between Europe and the US.
CNN asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday whether she believed, after hearing Wang’s speech, that China is listening to Europe’s message to not support Russia. She said that the opposite has been seen so far.
Wang Yi – who was promoted as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month – is due to arrive in Moscow this week as part of his eight-day Europe tour, a trip that brings into focus China’s attempted diplomatic balancing act since Russia tanks rolled into Ukraine a year ago.
But the vague mention of the proposal was met with suspicion from some Western leaders who are closely watching for any support China lends to its northern neighbor – especially assistance that could help Russia on the battlefield.
The officials would not describe in detail what intelligence the US has seen suggesting a recent shift in China’s posture, but said US officials have been concerned enough that they have shared the intelligence with allies and partners at the Munich Security Conference over the last several days.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue when he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Saturday on the sidelines of the conference, officials said.
“The Secretary was quite blunt in warning about the implications and consequences of China providing material support to Russia or assisting Russia with systematic sanctions evasion,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
Security Conference Summary: Russia’s War on the Invasion of the Black Hole and the First Cold War in the History of the Universe
This warfare isn’t going to continue. We need to think about what efforts we can make to bring this warfare to an end,” Wang said at the conference.
In China there is no difference between private companies and the state, so we’ve seen Chinese companies support Russia in the Ukraine.
“The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support, and we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship,” Blinken said.
The security conference attracts heads of state, generals, intelligence chiefs and top diplomats from around the world.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine set the tone of the three-day conference by urging Western leaders to act rather than talk, calling via videolink for the speedy deliveries of weapons and warning of dwindling supplies on the battleground.
This year, there was a record number of delegates as well as significant bipartisan representation from Congress.
With delegations attending from every continent beyond Europe, and the members of NATO, issues affecting the entire world were on the minds of those present at the conference.
As the war enters its second year, it remains to be seen whether dialogue with President Vladimir Putin will be possible at next year’s conference. The U.S. administration is preparing to prosecute Russian leaders for crimes against humanity, according to Vice President Harris.
She said that there was evidence of “widespread and systemic rape, torture, execution style killings, beatings, electrocution and deportation” as well as children who had been cruelly separated from their parents.
She urged delegates not to look the other way, saying: “Think of the four-year-old girl who the United Nations recently reported was sexually assaulted by a Russian soldier.”
The U.S. Secretary of State said in a statement at the conference that “We reserve crimes against humanity determinations for the most egregious crimes.”
China and the War on the World: The First High-Level Meeting between the US and China since the U.S. Shot Down an alleged Chinese Surveillance Balloon
Some people might not want peace talks to happen. They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm on Europe. They might have strategic goals larger than Ukraine itself. Wang said that warfare must not continue.
Wang said that peace in the world is Beijing’s top priority, along with respect for the sovereignty of independent nations. He warned against international interference on the issue of Taiwan. Wang said that maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait meant opposing Taiwanese independence forces.
But this moment finds the United States negotiating worsening foreign policy crises at the same time – with its former Cold War adversaries in the Kremlin and its belligerent new superpower rival led by Xi Jinping. The international system has been underpinned by the rule of law and both of these rivals are challenging it.
In the first high-level meeting between the US and China since the U.S. shot down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon, Blinken and Wang sat down together on the last night of the conference.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department said that Blinken told Wang that the U.S. is not seeking conflict with China but warned him against Beijing providing any material support to Russia, or helping Moscow evade Western sanctions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said member states must work together with the defense industry to scale up the production of munitions for Ukraine which, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is using them quicker than Europe can replace them.
The German chancellor asked Europe to give battle tanks to Ukraine without delay. During a question and answer session, Scholz mentioned that he’s had to urge others to deliver Leopard tanks quickly to Ukraine because they’d put pressure on him to do so in the past.
Boris Pistorius pushed for more military spending within Europe and NATO in his new role as Defense Minister. He went one step further than Scholz’s promise to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defense, and called on the NATO alliance to agree on 2% as a minimum commitment, aiming for higher. Germany currently doesn’t meet its 2% target and is not expected to do so in the next two years.
He made no secret of his opposition to the request from Ukraine to send fighter jets. He said Germany’s support for Kyiv is resolute but warned against hasty decisions and the dangers of escalation.
An interview with Christoph Heusgen, a US Ambassador to Russia, in the midst of World War II: Why Russia didn’t invade Ukraine
Prominent Kremlin critics — including exiled oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, chess champion Gary Kasparov, and Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed opposition political Alexey Navalny — were pointedly offered seats instead.
The Munich Security Conference is known for promoting dialogue, even between adversaries, but MSC Chair Christoph Heusgen says he did not want the conference to serve as a podium for Russian propaganda.
Heusgen – who served as former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top foreign policy aide – admitted in an interview earlier this week that he left last year’s conference convinced Russia would not invade Ukraine. Four days later, the invasion began.
John J. Sullivan was US Ambassador to Russia for a number of months. He was previously US Deputy Secretary of State. And is now a partner in Mayer Brown LLP and a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has opinions on it.
For weeks, I had been telling everyone I could reach that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to launch a war on the continent of Europe, the scale of which had not been seen since World War II.
Although confident in my pre-war assessment, I was disconsolate. For two years, I had worked hard as US ambassador to make even modest progress in the few areas in which any dialogue was possible with the Russians.
I have a heavy heart as a person who was an advocate for continued negotiations with the government of Russia even as the relationship deteriorated. As the deputy secretary state, I was the one in charge of negotiations and the one who stayed on Mahogany Row.
The engagement was reduced to the threat of Russia to Ukraine, as well as security guarantees from the United States and NATO. It was apparent to me that the Russians had no intention of negotiating in good faith.
Russian people would not engage in a real conversation if they read their talking points from the beginning. Russian security services kept a close watch on phone calls and meetings. The Russians were playing a game to make up for the fact that Putin had already decided to launch an invasion. When was the only question.
The war changed things great and small, from where I lived in Moscow to Russia’s standing in the world. I had to move onto the Embassy compound because the pace of teleconferences with Washington, combined with an eight-hour time difference, meant I had to be immediately available at all hours.
The invasion wreaked havoc on the global economy, including energy and grain markets. And most tragically, it slaughtered thousands of innocents and caused unspeakable suffering for millions of Ukrainians because of a policy choice by Putin in his quest for empire.
Yet the merciless Russian violence (which has forced almost 15 million Ukrainians to become refugees or internally displaced), the catastrophic missile strikes on civilian targets and the unlawful occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory continue. Russia is on the UN Security Council with a mission to preserve and defend world peace.
This is a menacing global problem that will only get worse, until it is stopped and reversed so that it protects its sovereignty and security.
Mr. Putin argued that he was forced into his decision. “They want to inflict ‘strategic defeat’ on us,” he said, picking up a phrase that American officials have used to describe their desired outcome for Russia in the war against Ukraine, “and climb on our nuclear facilities.” The Ukrainians have already launched attacks on strategic air bases in Russia, where the Russian Air Force keeps the bomber that can deliver nuclear weapons.
Before the war, the Russians did not negotiate in good faith. There is no “off ramp” until Putin achieves his longstanding goals.
The goals of the Special Military Operation can’t and won’t be achieved. Only then will the Russian government negotiate in good faith. And only then will peace return to Europe.
China should not add fuel to the fire against the end of the brutal US-Russia war: Beijing’s prime minister responds to the Beijing televised news conference
As US President Joe Biden touched down in Ukraine to meet with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, China’s top diplomat was traveling in the opposite direction, on his way to Russia.
The optics of the two trips – taking place just days before the one-year anniversary of the brutal war on Friday – underscores the sharpening of geopolitical fault lines between the world’s two superpowers.
“We do not add fuel to the fire, and we’re against reaping benefits from this crisis,” Wang said in a thinly veiled dig at the US, echoing the propaganda messaging that regularly made China’s nightly prime-time news program – that the US is intentionally prolonging the war because its arms manufacturers are earning fat profits from weapon sales.
He urged European officials to think about what role Europe should play in order to bring lasting peace to Europe.
Responding to the accusations Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry blasted the US for “shoving responsibility, shifting blame and spreading false information.”
The US side gives a steady stream of weapons to the battlefield. The US side is not qualified to lecture China, and we would never accept the US dictating or even coercing pressure on Sino-Russian relations,” a ministry spokesperson said at a regular news conference.
Who is in favor of dialogue and peace? There are people handing out knives and encouraging confrontation. The international community can see clearly.
China’s resolve to resolve the Russian nuclear problem: an open challenge for the United States after the first three years of Covid zero-Covid policy
Previously, Beijing dodged actions that could result in secondary sanctions and a devastating blow to the economy due to three years of zero- Covid policy.
While Beijing seems to have softened it’s pro-Russian rhetoric in recent months, its support for Moscow has strengthened over the past year.
Chinese officials often change their narrative to suit a different audience. It is unclear whether Wang will deliver a consistent message to Putin when the two meet at the Kremlin this week, as he made appealing pledges during his Europe tour.
The United States retains some visibility over the Russian arsenal, mostly with satellites that keep track of Russian nuclear movements. There is a deeper worry. President Biden and President Putin agreed to a five-year extension of New START in the first few weeks of his presidency. It means a new treaty would have to be worked out. It is hard to imagine that the United States will negotiate a new treaty in the next three years.
Mr. Putin’s announcement, he added, was “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible.” But he suggested that the United States would not change its compliance with the treaty, no matter what Russia did.
But he made clear that the United States would not be inspecting Russian nuclear sites, a central element of verifying compliance with the treaty. And more broadly, he sounded like a leader who was done with arms control at a time of escalating confrontation with the United States and NATO.
If that attitude holds, whoever is sitting in the Oval Office when the treaty expires in a bit more than 1,000 days may face a new world that will look, at first glance, similar to the one of a half-century ago, when arms races were in full swing and nations could field as many nuclear weapons as they wanted.
On the Status Quo of the Ukrainian Nuclear Forces and the Role of Russia and the West in the Effort to Hit the Bases
The Ukrainians could use the inspectors’ findings to launch more attacks, so he wouldn’t allow them to survey those facilities. He said that it was a theater of absurd. The West is closely involved in the attempts by the Ukrainian regime to hit the bases.
The status quo isn’t changed very much by this. Nuclear inspections were suspended during the Covid pandemic, when inspectors on either side couldn’t get into Russia or the United States. But over the past year, as travel restrictions lifted, Russians came up with reasons to deny inspections — and charged, as Mr. Putin did again on Tuesday, that the United States was not living up to its inspection requirements either.
There are many reasons. There is barely any communication between the two countries. The “strategic stability talks” that Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin agreed upon in June 2021, at their only face-to-face meeting as presidents, were suspended after the invasion of Ukraine.
Finally, another treaty simply between Moscow and Washington no longer makes sense to most nuclear experts. The Pentagon believes that China could have over 1,500 weapons in the next 12 years, comparable to the American and Russian armies. So an arms control treaty that left out one of the three major powers would be all but useless. And so far, China has showed no interest in joining negotiations — if there were any.
Putin’s visit to Ukraine and his visit to China: The challenges of working Americans, the Russian Federation, and the problem of a new foreign policy
During his visit to Kyiv with air raid sirens wailing and his speech in Warsaw a day later he repudiated Putin and reinforced the West’s incredible support of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia.
In the latest highly significant move, Putin welcomed Wang and told him that relations between Beijing and Moscow were getting better.
The idea of a global contest between democracies and autocracies seemed theoretical and intangible when Biden voiced it while running for president. It’s all too real at this point.
And this new and complicated foreign policy picture is not just a problem for American diplomats. Rising challenges abroad as well, as the depletion of US and Western weapons stocks as arms are sent to Ukraine, pose questions about military capacity and whether current defense spending is sufficient. Key Republicans meanwhile are accusing Biden of snubbing voters facing economic and other problems, even as he tries to position Democrats as the protectors of working Americans as the 2024 campaign dawns.
And Biden vowed, “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail,” he added.
To Western ears, Putin seems to be living in an alternative reality. Biden told the people of Russia that he spoke once more to them. The United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. The West was not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today.”
The leader of the Russian Federation is likely to be watching the opposition to Biden’s involvement in the war in the US. On Monday, for instance, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on the day that Biden was in Kyiv that the future of Ukraine wouldn’t be priorities if he won the White House.
“The fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all that, and steamrolling, that has not even come close to happening,” DeSantis said on Fox. I believe they have shown they are a third-rate military power.
The Effects of a Cold War Breakdown on the US-Russia Relations after Biden’s Insight on the World Economy and Implications for Foreign Policy
Biden’s trip also demonstrated that the estrangement between the US and Russia – a factor that will shape global politics for years – is almost complete.
Given that its economy is struggling, and its conventional forces are under extreme pressure, Russia also lacks resources to ignite a new nuclear arms race with Washington. But the collapse of one of the last building blocks of a post-Cold War thaw between Russia and the US exemplifies the almost total lack of communication between the rivals.
Any time the top two nuclear powers are not talking is dangerous, according to Antony Blinken, secretary of state, who said Tuesday that the US would be willing to discuss the situation with Russia.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that such a step would cross a US red line but did not specify what consequences could result.
A long-dragging conflict could drive divides between the US and Europe, playing into China’s foreign policy goals. And it could further incite political dissent in Washington, weakening Biden’s capacity to fulfill his foreign policy goals on the global stage.
A US State Department official said that Friday will be when the Biden administration will put constraints on Chinese companies suspected of being involved in evading sanctions.
That package “focuses very, very intently and intentionally” on sanctions evasion, Nuland said, noting that Moscow has been using third-party countries to evade punishment.