February 03, 2021

Biden Must Rally Europe to Stand Up to Putin

By Edward Fishman and Max Bergmann

It’s the first foreign-policy test of the Joe Biden presidency. The dissident Alexei Navalny, fresh off of recovering in Germany from an assassination attempt by poison, courageously returned to Russia and was promptly jailed. Protests erupted, and the Kremlin responded with a violent crackdown. Yesterday, a Russian court sentenced Navalny to more than two years in a penal colony. It’s a fraught situation — and one which will set the tone for the Biden administration’s Russia policy and treatment of human rights abuses abroad.

The best response is for Biden to practice what he preached on the campaign trail: rally America’s allies in a new diplomatic push to pressure the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The best response is for Biden to practice what he preached on the campaign trail: rally America’s allies in a new diplomatic push to pressure the regime of Vladimir Putin.

Launching such an effort will be a challenge for the still-understaffed administration. But now is the time. Navalny has captured the attention of the world. This is especially true in Europe, where business interests in favor of economic engagement with the Kremlin are robust and the default instinct of many foreign ministries is to calm tension and mediate between the United States and Russia. For the EU and its capitals to turn the screws on Moscow, they require not just U.S. nudging but a feeling of genuine outrage at the Kremlin.

Read the full article from POLITICO Magazine.

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