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Vladimir Putin

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he has told President Vladimir Putin that the United States would no longer tolerate Russia's aggressive actions against the United States, including interference in American elections.

Biden's statement came during a speech at the State Department during which he noted his decision this week to formally extend for five years the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, originally signed in 2010 by the United States and Russia.

The treaty limits the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launch ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers that can be deployed by both countries.

The Trump administration had declined to sign an extension to the treaty.

But Biden noted the agreement does not mean a continuation of Trump's acquiescence to Russian aggression.

"I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia's aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens are over," said Biden.

He added, "We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people."

Throughout Trump's single term in the White House, he repeatedly deferred to Russia's desires, even when they put American security at risk.

Trump took Putin's assertion that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election at face value and publicly praised him for it, in the process elevating the Russian leader's assurances over the findings of multiple U.S. intelligence agencies that the country had done exactly that.

Last year Putin, like Trump, took weeks to acknowledge Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, long after the race had been called by major media outlets.

From Biden's Feb. 4 speech at the State Department:

JOE BIDEN: That's why yesterday the United States and Russia agreed to extend the New START treaty for five years: to preserve the only remaining treaty between our countries safeguarding nuclear stability.
At the same time, I made it clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia's aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens are over.
We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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