Like a lamb to slaughter, Joe Biden will embarrass the United States on the world stage as he meets with Vladmir Putin. The KGB colonel has taken stock of the hack and has already wrenched concessions from him. And some said Trump was a Russian puppet. Not quite. Biden is the real marionette.  Former GOP governor Jim Gilmore gives reasons Biden should not meet with Putin. Not the least of them, American mortification.

Gilmore: “President Joe Biden plans to hold a major ‘summit’ with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, this week. In my view, he should not hold this meeting because it would add to Putin’s prestige and, because of the president’s style of diplomacy, Biden will be giving the Russian leader gifts of diplomatic gains and adding the latter’s leverage in the world. The proposed meeting comes at a time in which Russia is likely behind significant cyberattacks against the U.S. infrastructure and while Putin’s opponents are being suppressed.

Putin’s meeting with the leader of the free world lends him legitimacy, while Russians dedicated to freedom in Russia are being oppressed. Putin’s principal political opponent, Alexei Navalny has been falsely imprisoned and is likely to be murdered through ill-treatment in a labor camp. Putin is all about sending messages to opponents. Putin’s assassinations and attempted assassinations of his opponents are well-documented, such as the poison attacks on Russian emigres in the United Kingdom. There have been assassinations of Putin’s opponents in Austria and Germany and in Russia itself. Putin’s message is that his political opponents are not safe anywhere. Biden himself acknowledged Putin as a ‘killer,’ which did much to delegitimize Putin’s authoritarian rule. Now Biden proposes to meet with him as an equal. While Biden offers a desire to travel to Europe to visit allies and rally them against ‘authoritarianism,’ the Putin summit will accomplish the exact opposite.

No strategy has been offered for this summit other than Biden’s desire to restore ‘stability and predictability’ to U.S.-Russian relations. But if Biden performs as he usually does – giving something and receiving nothing in return, as he did in extending the New START treaty on Russian terms – U.S. leadership will, again, be undermined, U.S. efforts against ‘authoritarianism’ weakened and Putin strengthened in both the eyes of our allies and those of the Russian people who are otherwise growing tired of his dictatorship.”

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This piece was written by David Kamioner on June 14, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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