Biden Says Allies Must Keep Focus on Russia

There is no denying that no one has done more to shake up the political status quo and European political society in the past decade than Vladimir Putin. Between launching a war against Georgia to annex land and allow for pro-Russian autonomous regions to be created from waging a secret war in the eastern provinces of Ukraine, Putin has brought a Cold War mentality back to the world and has shown that he is willing to isolate both himself and his country all in an effort to prove that Russia is no longer going to be the worlds doormat. Putin is trying to make the world realize that Russia is still a world player and a great power and he isn’t afraid of using military means to show that, even if they’re secretive and officially denied.Russia_flag

As European and US officials will meet Russian officials soon to discuss another peace plan, United States Vice President Joe Biden says that western countries shouldn’t take their focus off of Russia, regardless of how the meetings go. Speaking from Munich, Biden brought up a number of areas where Russia’s actions have brought international condemnation and scrutiny and reminded the world that Russia hasn’t changed and that things are still the same, if not worse, than they were just a few years ago. To this point, Biden brought up Russia’s military and economic actions against the Ukrainian government and those unsupportive of secession, Russia’s bullying of it’s neighbors (including military and economic bullying), and the constant and increasing repression of human rights and free speech at home.

Biden makes a good point in his speech, especially about how Russia has been consistently been going back on free-formed agreements. Any country that can’t even be counted to hold to an agreement that was made with no diplomatic, military, or economic pressure at all is one that can’t be trusted in any way. Russia is quickly burning through its relationships with the countries that are closest to it and if this isolation continues, who knows what Putin will do to these continued perceived slights against him and Russia. While military engagement shouldn’t be on the table, Putin seems closer and closer to including that in his arsenal of political weapons.

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