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The co-hosts of “The Five” discussed President Biden’s virtual meeting Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid rising military tension with Ukraine and wondered whether another foreign policy failure is imminent under the commander in chief’s watch.
“After the utter disaster in Afghanistan, President Biden could soon be facing another foreign policy crisis,” Katie Pavlich said.
BIDEN VOICES ‘DEEP CONCERNS’ WITH PUTIN ON RUSSIAN AGGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a thumbs-up as he attends a foundation-laying ceremony for the third reactor of the Akkuyu nuclear plant in Turkey, via a video link in Moscow, Russia March 10, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo
(Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY./File Photo)
During the meeting, Biden expressed “deep concerns” over Russia amassing troops by the Ukrainian border and said sanctions as well as “other measures” were on the table “in the event of military escalation,” the White House said.
In October, Russia warned that if Ukraine joined NATO it would be an “extremely dangerous step” that would “force” the country into action.
“We will insist on working out specific agreements that would exclude any further NATO moves eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory,” Putin said.
President Joe Biden and other NATO heads of the states and governments pose for a family photo during the NATO summit at the Alliance’s headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium, Monday, June 14, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)
(Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)
PUTIN SETS WORLD ON EDGE AMASSING RUSSIAN TROOPS ALONG UKRAINE BORDER
Dana Perino said Putin is very “patient” and is ratcheting up tensions in order to keep Ukraine out of NATO, which is an intergovernmental military alliance that includes the U.S. and 28 European countries, among others.
“What Putin really wants is Ukraine back, but he might settle with not getting Ukraine into NATO,” she argued. “Then you have to ask … well then what else is left?”
The issue of the White House’s leverage is compounded by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is being built from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea, according to Perino.
16 November 2021, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lubmin: View of pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. (Photo by Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
(Photo by Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images)
U.S. officials warned Congress that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could compromise the pipeline, according to a Reuters report. In the event of an invasion, according to the report, U.S. officials have “an understanding with Germany about shutting down the … pipeline.”
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters the White House was willing to use the pipeline, which is owned by a Russian company called Gazprom, as leverage.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the launching ceremony of the Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing Plant, via a video conference, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on June 9, 2021. (Photo by Sergei Ilyin / Sputnik / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI ILYIN/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
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“If Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow through that pipeline, he may not want to take the risk of invading Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
Perino commented that the pipeline was being built for years and was not simply “a toy” the administration could “take away.” The only “real deterrence” for Moscow’s expansionist interest in Ukraine is “a show of force,” she said.
“I don’t think Biden is going to do that,” Perino concluded. “Putin holds all the cards and all the leverage.”
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