President Joe Biden will be holding a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week. It is doubtful Putin will find the encounter as enjoyable as the love fests he shared with former President Donald Trump.
Trump made it abundantly clear that he wanted to be buddies with the Russian autocrat. When American intelligence agencies said the Russians had interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Putin denied it, Trump believed Putin. When Ukrainian officials asked Trump to help them defend themselves against Russian attacks, Trump took it as an opportunity to try to coerce the Ukrainians into digging up dirt on Biden. Trump seemed to greatly admire Putin’s iron-fisted way of running his country, even excusing Putin’s murders of political opponents.
Biden does not share those warm feelings. He can be expected to confront Putin about his meddling in American politics, his aggression against Ukraine and his tacit encouragement of the ransomware attacks against American targets that have been launched by Russian cybercriminal operations.
Putin is the street punk of the international community. He is constantly looking for devious ways to assault, harass and intimidate other countries. Trump did not find that a problem because he is an incorrigible bully himself. Bullies need someone to call their bluff. Let’s hope Biden does that with Putin because he has gotten away with too much for way too long.
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