Joe Biden challenges Putin over Ukraine tensions

December 8, 2021

Joe Biden challenges Putin over Ukraine tensions

President Joe Biden is not backing down and seems ready to match Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bravado when it comes to Ukraine.

Amid rising tensions between Russia and the West over the situation at the border with Ukraine, the two leaders met over a video call on Tuesday.

The meeting, which lasted a little over two hours, was reportedly frank and cordial. However, the divide over Ukraine has never been more apparent because the two presidents have opted to stay firm on their positions.

Joe Biden shows willingness to confront Vladimir Putin

According to members of the Biden administration, Russia has a choice to make in the upcoming weeks. It can choose to solve the Ukraine problem through diplomacy or pay a hefty price if it decides to cross the line by invading its neighbor.

The American president did not stop there. Biden reportedly told Putin that he is willing to go further in terms of sanctions against the Kremlin than President Barack Obama did in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea.

Mr. Biden was Obama’s vice president at the time. The US president did not elaborate on his threats. Some are wondering if a war with Russia is on the table if Putin chooses to invade Ukraine.

At this very moment, no one really knows what the Russian leader is trying to accomplish. In recent months, he deployed close to 90,000 Russian troops near the border with Ukraine.

Putin is not backing down

While the meeting was not incendiary, Putin made it clear that he will decide his next move on his own timeline. As he often does in big summits with western countries, he tried to shift the blame.

Mr. Putin said that the West is currently building a military setting in the Ukrainian region, and he is barely responding to their own actions.

He wants assurance from the West that an offensive arsenal is not being built in the area. Some observers believe that a NATO expansion into Ukraine is something that Putin is trying to avoid.

The Kremlin has said that Biden might be willing to negotiate on this particular issue.

However, the White House was quick to dispute this characterization of the exchange.

Below the surface, some experts in Russia say that Putin never considered going to war. But, he is against an increased NATO presence in Ukraine.

Russian media have also suggested that Biden’s political situation in America made confronting Putin in a tough way a necessity.

Biden standing up to Putin is part of a broader strategy

Most observers say that the meeting went well for Joe Biden. He held his ground and appeared forceful.

After facing months of negative headlines and disappointing polling numbers, the American president did not have much of a choice.

While Congress is holding most of his agenda hostage, he is turning his focus to foreign policy to improve his political fortunes domestically.

He is challenging Russia and will soon turn his attention to China. The goal is to project the image of a strong America on the world stage. For Biden, this is a country that is willing to stand up and fight for what is right.

The strategy might work, and Biden might score some major wins in foreign policy, but American voters rarely reward presidents for successes outside of the country.

Mr. Biden will have to win at home if he wants to improve his standing.

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