RPT - Biden Likely To Carry On 'Soft Aggression' Toward Russia - US Senate Ex-Candidate

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2021) The new US administration under Joe Biden will continue the course of "soft aggression" toward Russia, which is common for the Democratic Party, Ibra Taher, US Senate candidate 2020 from the Green-Progressive party, said while expressing personal opinions to Sputnik.

All eyes are focused on Biden who, shortly after his inauguration, is undoing several of his predecessor's key environmental, security and immigration policies. As the new US leader is prioritizing the coronavirus pandemic response, climate, racial justice, the economy, health care, immigration and restoration of the US position in the world, speculations arise around his future relations with Russia.

"It is clear to me that the Biden administration will carry on the Democratic soft aggression toward Russia which might seriously cause a new conflict especially with his recent announcement of recognizing [Juan] Guaido the coup leader as the legitimate president of Venezuela," Taher said.

Biden's nominee for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has recently said that Washington should not change its position regarding recognizing Guaido as the interim leader of that country. The Latin American country continues plunging into crisis since 2019 when the then-head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust reelected Maduro from power.

Taher noted that Biden's course toward Russia will be affected by "the huge ongoing propaganda campaign that was waged against Russia for the alleged interference in 2016 which Biden happily regurgitated, the fact that Biden was part of the US intervention in Ukraine in 2014, his pick of the hawkish Anthony Blinken for secretary of state and the current idea of allowing Georgia to join NATO."

Yet in the sphere of military treaties, Biden seemed to take a step forward after the White House announced that the new president would seek a five-year extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was concluded in 2010 and expires in February 2021. In the wake of the announcement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was ready to start the talks as soon as possible.

However, though the situation changed around New START, the restoration of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is hardly likely, Taher believes. The US announced its plans to leave the INF Treaty in 2018 and formally pulled out in 2019.

"There are no signs that the Biden administration would rejoin the INF especially when we consider that Trump's withdrawal was not a partisan move, but bipartisan preceded with Obama's intentions to withdraw before him," he said.

However, he admitted that the restoration of ties within the Open Skies treaty would be influenced by the overall policy toward Russia. Moscow has recently started official procedures to leave the deal, as no progress had been made in removing obstacles that hinder treaty functioning after the US pullout. When the procedures are completed, Moscow will send a notification will to depositories.

"Biden's overturning Trump-era accords, unfortunately, does not mean anything serious domestically or with regards to foreign policy," Taher concluded.

While speaking about China, Taher does not believe that any radical changes would be made by the Democratic administration toward Beijing.

"Despite that the recent move from China of sanctioning [28] people from the Trump administration is unprecedented, I do not think that it would lead to any escalation considering that it took place right after the new administration was inaugurated and its personal nature," he said.

Beijing has recently imposed sanctions on 28 US citizens, including Mike Pompeo, the last secretary of state in Donald Trump's administration, and Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro, for interfering in the internal affairs of China and undermining Chinese interests.