(TargetLiberty.org) – Russia has turned up the heat on western governments, threatening escalation if NATO doesn’t cave in to the Kremlin’s demands. It could be the toughest foreign policy challenge yet for the Biden administration.
Putin’s threat to the sovereignty of European countries continue to pile up. Next up, “NATO must dissolve, or we will compelled to invade Ukraine.” https://t.co/ESKFaej9Hl
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 27, 2021
In early December, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded guarantees that NATO won’t give membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. He also insisted the alliance has to dismantle the defenses it has been building in Central and Eastern Europe – defenses aimed at deterring Russian aggression. Now, Putin is hinting that he could get aggressive anyway. On December 26, he said Russia will take “adequate military-technical measures” if NATO refuses to obey him. When a journalist asked what those measures might be, Putin said “it could be diverse.”
Russia has a historic and well-founded fear of invasion, which probably explains part of Putin’s hostility to NATO expansion, but the former KGB lieutenant-colonel has also shown that he’s willing to use force to seize areas with ethnic Russian populations. Ukraine has several such areas, and some are already under Russian control. If Ukraine joins NATO, it’ll be harder for Putin to invade the others, so the time to fully support them and stand up to Russia’s demands is now. The question is, will Biden have the courage to do it?
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