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When Does the ‘Tough on Russia’ Part of Biden’s Presidency Start?

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On the campaign trail, Joe Biden pledged to get tough with Russia, boasting that he had “served as a founding member of a Trans-Atlantic Commission on Election Integrity to fight back against Russia’s attacks on Western democracies.” Shortly after taking office, Biden called Vladimir Putin and, in the White House’s characterization, “made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies.” And in March, Biden promised Putin “will pay a price” for Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But as president, Biden’s actions towards Putin and Russia haven’t always been so tough or uncompromising. The Biden administration did enact additional sanctions in April and offered statements of support and more funding for Ukraine. But even when announcing sanctions, Biden was quick to emphasize that he wants to avoid any larger conflict with Putin. “I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so, to be — I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of........

© National Review

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