Antagonizing Russia: A Biden Administration Specialty | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Antagonizing Russia: A Biden Administration Specialty

Joe Biden’s administration seems determined to surpass its predecessors in taking actions that are certain to antagonize Russia. In just the past two weeks, the United States and its NATO allies have gone out of their way to provoke Moscow on four separate occasions. Such irresponsible behavior exacerbates already dangerous tensions with a nuclear-armed great power.

Washington set a belligerent tone with its choice of a special envoy to the Kremlin in what was supposed to be an effort to repair badly frayed bilateral relations. Instead of selecting someone who was at least tolerable to Russian leaders, the administration sent Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. Not only is Nuland an outspoken Russophobe in general, but she is especially notorious for her role in helping demonstrators overthrow Ukraine’s elected, pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014, when she served as an assistant secretary of state in Barack Obama’s administration. The Russian government imposed a travel ban and other sanctions on her – measures that were lifted just before her latest diplomatic mission as part of a deal in which Washington removed similar restrictions on a high-level foreign ministry official. Choosing Nuland as the envoy for negotiations with Vladimir Putin’s government was either incredibly tone deaf or a deliberate display of contempt.