News & Politics

Biden Leaves Putin Shaking in His Boots — or Probably Not

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

It’s no secret that Vladimir Putin has his eye on Ukraine.

Rumors have been swirling that Russia is massing troops at its border with Ukraine, planning either to invade or engineer a coup that would invite the Russian military into the country.

The U.S. is aware of what’s going on. Last week, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov of “serious consequences” if Russia invades Ukraine.

President Biden is planning on using similar language in a video call with Putin on Tuesday.

Fox News reports:

The threat of an invasion will be the central subject of President Biden’s video call with Putin on Tuesday. Biden is expected to warn of dire consequences should Russia follow through with a military offensive, while Putin is expected to reiterate his ultimatum that NATO should not allow Ukraine to join its military alliance.

The outcome of the video call could have major implications as Putin weighs the potential costs of a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine. Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon official and adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program, said Putin is an “opportunist” who sees an invasion as one of several potential pathways for achieving his goals in the region.

All signs point to Russia’s making preparations to move into Ukraine, echoing its annexation of the Crimean peninsula back in 2014.

“Both the forces being the deployed and the areas in which they are being deployed, plus other indications — night maneuverings, etc. — clearly suggest Russia is taking steps that would make it possible to invade,” said Ivo Daalder, who served as U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. “And the rhetoric coming from Moscow, and particularly from Putin, regarding red lines and that the status quo is unacceptable is also cause for real concern.”

The question is, how much weight will Putin give to Biden’s threats?

Related: U.S. Warns Allies of Potential Russian Move Against Ukraine

After all, Putin saw how the Biden administration has handled Afghanistan, including American citizens left in the country. But don’t worry, Biden has a plan for rescuing Americans in Ukraine. How reassuring.

The always brilliant VodkaPundit put it better than I could when he said:

…if recent history is any guide, our advice to Americans in Ukraine who think they need to flee and are counting on Joe Effing Biden to help them is: GET OUT YOUR OWN SELF AND DO IT NOW.

Please, don’t be the craziest person in the world.

You’re welcome.

Don’t forget how Biden has dithered on China and Taiwan. That video call with Xi Jinping didn’t go all that well.

We’ve heard ever since the beginning of the Trump presidency that the Democrats want a return to the halcyon Obama years. That administration was a huge fan of the strongly worded letter for both foreign and domestic policy. We shouldn’t expect Joe Biden to do much more than the rhetorical finger-wagging that his Democratic predecessor engaged in.

Don’t be surprised if Putin isn’t shaking in his boots after talking with Biden.