Biden’s call for an intelligence review into recent Russian actions marks a clean break from the Trump era.
Biden Takes First Steps on Russia Policy
As Joe Biden begins to settle into the Oval Office, the contours of his Russia policy are beginning to come into view.
On Thursday, Biden directed his intelligence chief Avril Haines to conduct a full review of a host of alleged Russian transgressions in recent months. According to the Washington Post, Haines will be charged with opening investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2020 election, the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, rumored Russian bounties placed on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and the hacking of government service provider SolarWinds.
There’s been some room for cooperation, too. The same Post report indicated that Biden would seek to continue the current pact with Russia that limits nuclear weapons, known as New START. The agreement is due to expire on Feb. 5, and Biden wants to extend the deal by 5 more years.
2016, forever. How Biden treats Russia over the next four years could provide an insight into how much Democratic party politics influences his foreign policymaking. Wariness of Russia has only increased since allegations of interference surfaced in the 2016 presidential election: a Pew survey taken in 2019 found that 65 percent of Democrats said Russia was a major threat, compared with just 35 percent of Republicans.