President Biden, apparently eager to placate Russian President Vladimir Putin, has informed the Russian government that he would be willing to discuss giving Putin access to sensitive NATO information at missile-defense bases in Romania and Poland.
According to Bloomberg, Biden would let Putin confirm there are no offensive Tomahawk cruise missiles stationed at those bases. Putin stated on Tuesday to reporters, “There are anti-missile launchers in Poland and Romania, there are MK-41 launchers there, on which you can place Tomahawks, which is already not missile defense but offensive weapons systems, which will cover our territory for thousands of kilometers. Is this not a threat to us?”
“One person added any agreement would only happen after discussion with allies, especially Poland and Romania, and would need to be reciprocated with a number of Russian bases housing ground-launched weapons,” Bloomberg wrote, adding, “Spokespeople for the White House’s National Security Council didn’t immediately comment.”
Near the end of January, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, claiming the U.S. and NATO had shown “serious differences in the understanding” of security issues, adding, “We believe it is necessary to immediately clarify this issue, as it will determine the prospects for future dialogue.”
Bloomberg stated that Romania has invited Russian officials to visit its facility if “the requirement of reciprocity is met,” and that “an official familiar with Poland’s stance” said Poland would also agree to let Russia inspect their facilities if Russia would agree to let Poland inspect Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.
Last week, BBC News reported that Putin warned French President Emmanuel Macron that the West has ignored Russia’s security concerns, saying, “US and NATO responses did not take account of such key Russian concerns as preventing NATO expansion, non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders, or returning the alliance’s military potential and infrastructure in Europe to positions existing in 1997.”
In late January, as The Daily Wire reported, former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Fox News that Putin does not view Biden as credible, saying:
The real hard work of deterrence would have happened a long time ago, a year ago, when President Putin demanded that we give him a new START treaty extension, we gave it to him for nothing. When they had Russian cyberattacks and they shut down the Colonial Pipeline, we told them you can only attack certain sectors, but 16 are off-limits. When we left Afghanistan in the way we did — those were the places where the administration had a chance to establish deterrence.
Putin saw this and so these tactical things today about whether our families will stay in Ukraine, we’ve got to the right thing and take care of our families. But these tactical things aren’t what causes Vladimir Putin to recalculate his cost-benefit analysis. I think they don’t see President Biden as credible. I think they see all this talking, these pieces of paper being exchanged just not credible.
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