The Washington Times: Biden should understand that Russia is not to be trifled with

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to extend the START-3 treaty that limits strategic arsenals

The Washington Times: Biden should understand that Russia is not to be trifled with

 

Such a move is a boon to international security but it would be foolish to think that Moscow and Washington have really managed to mend US-Russian relations, the state of which can only be described as disastrous. The Washington Times, one of the most prominent conservative newspapers in the U.S., says so.

In October 2020, Biden made it clear that Russia is the most serious national security threat to the US. After reports that Russia was behind a widespread hacking attack on the US government, it is reasonable to assume that Moscow and Washington will bristle at each other by any means possible.

In particular, shortly before Christmas the Russian defence minister announced that the intensity of aggressive actions of the US armed forces on the border was 15% higher than last year. Moreover, these forces do not include light infantry but rather offensive weapons such as armoured vehicles, attack helicopters, nuclear-powered attack submarines and strategic bombers.

Meanwhile, the Western press is fixated on the fate of Alexei Navalny and the protests in Russia. However, such a combination of domestic politics and various cyber events could prove to be a “perfect storm” for Russian-American relations.

In reality, however, the actual harm caused by the alleged Russian cyber attacks is highly speculative. They have been attributed to some problems with an Estonian bank and a minor power outage somewhere in Ukraine. There have been reports that Russian cyber operations also resulted in Brexit, but such claims could not subsequently be proven. The “great” social media campaign during the 2016 US election appears to have been on a rather small scale, although it is difficult to call it sophisticated.

“Now let’s put this unfortunate nonsense out of our minds and turn to the really serious threat to national security – namely, the problems of nuclear arsenals in US-Russian relations”, –  urges The Washington Times.

On December 12, Russia’s Boreus-class submarine fired four ICBMs from the Sea of Okhotsk into the White Sea – on the other side of Russia. It is no exaggeration to say that one such submarine could, in theory, put an end to the life of the United States in its present form.

Just days before, Russian forces had engaged all three elements of the nuclear triad, including both land-based ICBMs and Tu-160 strategic bombers.

“Do these moves speak of Russian paranoia?” – the paper asks.

Of course it does. But it is clear that unnecessary provocations by the US and NATO are also contributing to heightened tensions with Moscow. US and Russian armed forces are very close to each other, including at least two hot spots – in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

“If the conflict in Ukraine escalates at the beginning of the Biden administration, who can say how it will end?” – the publication ponders.

While the Trump administration is often spoken of as if it has pursued a pro-Russian course, it is hard to imagine it acting even harder on this front. After all, Washington has closed several consulates, tightened sanctions, interfered with Russian gas deals with Europe, shipped lethal weapons to Ukraine, conducted military exercises near Russian borders, and withdrawn from a host of arms control treaties.

The Biden administration could make a real attempt to improve bilateral relations with Moscow. As a first constructive step the new president could instruct his appointees to stop labeling Russia the “enemy” and the “chief threat. Such rhetoric would add fuel to the flames of military tensions, which carry great danger.

“Americans need to know that Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal is under unified, stable and reasonable control, not in the hands of a fractured state threatened by civil war. Moreover, a stable and prosperous Russia will play an important role as the world recovers from the economic crisis brought on by the global pandemic”, –  concludes The Washington Times.

As EADaily reported, the day after this Washington Times article appeared, President Joe Biden gave a keynote address to Congress in which he defined the principal directions of US foreign policy. He named Russia and China as the main adversaries, promising that the US would put even more pressure on them and force its allies and partners to do the same.

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