What’s the end game here? Is this a foreign policy stratagem (perhaps not a bad one) or just bumbling? Where is Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken?
Russia has recalled its ambassador to the U.S. in a dramatic escalation in the fraught relations between the two powers – after President Joe Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a ‘killer.’
The moves comes after the White House has spent weeks telegraphing a tougher posture toward Russia under a Biden administration – and Moscow has once again bristled at accusations that it serves as a ‘malign’ influence in global affairs.
Fueling the rising tensions is a startling new assessment by U.S. intelligence that lays out Russia’s campaign to influence the 2020 elections – on the heels of the Treasury Department slapping sanctions on officials as retaliation for the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a chemical agent. Among those hit with sanctions was the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the FSB.
The extraordinary move by Moscow – undertaken by nations wishing to send a serious diplomatic signal – came after Biden not only ripped into Putin but vowed the Russian strongman would ‘pay a price.’