Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly exposed President Joe Biden’s true policy of surrendering Ukraine to Russia.
In his unusual style, Zelensky got U.S. attention by giving an interview on June 6 to Axios, an outlet that seems to be regularly read in the White House. Almost immediately the Biden Administration reacted with an angry dispatch to Kyiv. The next day, Biden called Zelensky himself.
Zelensky’s interview and conversation with the president revealed important features of Biden’s real policy towards Ukraine.
- Biden deceived Zelensky with Nord Stream 2
Biden initially told Zelensky that he would impose heavy sanctions on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but did the exact opposite.
On May 6, speaking at a joint briefing with U.S. Secretary of State Blinken in Kyiv, Zelensky disclosed the content of the just concluded negotiations with the American side:
Ukraine and the United States have the same position regarding Nord Stream 2. I know that there are different positions on this issue in Europe, unfortunately, they sometimes do not coincide with the position of Ukraine. But on this issue we are united with the United States. The head of state expressed gratitude to the United States for the powerful sanctions policy in connection with the construction of the gas pipeline.
Blinken, sitting next to Zelensky, neither protested, nor objected.
But a month later, on June 7, in an interview with Axios, Zelensky did not hide his unpleasant surprise and bitter disappointment:
To be honest, we were very surprised… [W]e understand that this is a weapon, a real weapon, and I speak openly about it. A weapon in the hands of the Russian Federation, and it is not very understandable, I feel, and definitely not expected, that the bullets to this weapon can possibly be provided by such a great country as the United States. Because it is an exemplary civilization, an exemplary democracy in the world. I have always considered that Ukraine was defending the exact same principles in Europe… Unfortunately, it is definitely not aimed at supporting Ukraine. That is why I said that I was indeed surprised. I truly thought that when it came to Nord Stream 2, the United States remained the last standing outpost, so to say. We understand that only the US is capable of stopping this construction. You know, we had this first conversation with President Biden, it was a phone conversation, and I received all the signals. They were direct signals, and I was very happy about it. …all the experts and the diplomats have had the same understanding, that Biden… understands all the issues, and, what’s most important, all the security risks. That is why, again, we were very unpleasantly surprised.
- Biden tries to humiliate Zelensky
In violation of usual diplomatic practice and standards characteristic among strategic partners, Biden did not personally inform Zelensky about his key decision to waive U.S. sanctions against Nord Stream 2. Zelensky was forced to use the word “surprised” several times:
…because I was really surprised a few times. Besides the United States decision, the second surprise was indeed that I learned about it through the press. I feel that… between strategic partners the relations should be direct… That was actually the third time when I was surprised. I found out about it, probably, like everybody else, from the briefing… given by the press-secretary of the U.S. President.
Axios included a quote from an anonymous White House spokesperson with Zelensky’s interview:
“The State Department has regularly engaged with Ukrainian officials regarding Nord Stream 2. Prior to the transmission of the most recent report to Congress, the State Department notified the Ukrainian ambassador in Washington and senior officials in Kyiv, including the president’s chief of staff, of the contents of the report.”
As the quote indicates, it was not Biden, not even the White House, it was the State Department; it contacted various Ukrainian officials, but not Zelensky; the document itself was addressed not to Zelensky, but to the U.S. Congress; it was not a message from Biden to Zelensky, but a report of the State Department to the U.S. Congress. Finally, even the content of this report itself is unknown.
On June 8, during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Blinken confirmed that Zelensky was right – Biden did not inform him:
For the record, we did share with our Ukrainian partners our intentions when it came to the pipeline. And may be that information did not get directly to President Zelensky, it should have.
- Biden ignores his “strategic partner”
Before Zelensky’s public appeal, Biden did not consult with the President of Ukraine, and he may have not planned to do so at all. Zelensky told Axios that he has not been contacted by the Biden administration prior his summit with Putin:
Not yet, and I believe that it is up to them. However, I do think that it would be a big mistake [not to]. We have a deeper understanding of the subject, I think, and we understand Russia better as of now — because we’ve been neighbors for many years, and because we have the war in the East. We understand the steps they are taking: the [military] exercises, the numbers of personnel amassed along the contact line and on the temporarily occupied territories etc. That is why I consider such consultations to be important.
Once again Biden demonstrated his trademark — using to declare Ukraine a strategic partner, but not backing these statements with any action.
- Biden defiantly refused to meet Zelensky before his meeting with Putin
The President of Ukraine has repeatedly – both through diplomatic channels and publicly – approached Biden with a proposal for a personal meeting between them before the upcoming Biden-Putin summit. All these appeals fell on deaf ears. Zelensky said:
I believe such consultations should happen face-to-face, because many things just cannot be discussed over the phone. I understand that due to the US President’s pre-existing plans and his tight schedule they might well not happen, but that choice will be only his to make. As the guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine, I myself am ready to defend Ukraine at any moment and at any spot of the planet, I am ready to meet with him and discuss all those details before his meeting.
Unlike Biden, who refused meeting Zelensky, former U.S. President Trump met regularly with former Ukrainian President Poroshenko on the eve of Trump’s meetings with the Kremlin leader: on June 20, 2017 in Washington, two weeks before his meeting with Putin on July 7 in Hamburg, and on July 12, 2018 in Brussels at a NATO summit, four days before his meeting with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki.
During his first overseas trip on June 10-16 Biden will meet with 35 or 36 foreign leaders, according to his national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
These 36 leaders do not include the head of the only European country that is a victim of unprovoked brutal aggression for seven and a half years, costing the lives of 13,000 of its citizens, and large territories which remain occupied. At the very moment of Biden’s meetings, there are 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, ready for a large-scale invasion.
Yet Biden will meet with the head of the aggressor’s regime.
- Biden tries to blackmail Zelensky
The Biden administration’s anonymous source told Axios why a personal meeting between Biden and Zelensky allegedly did not take place prior to the summit with Putin:
An administration source said the White House was considering inviting Zelensky to Washington before Biden’s summit with Putin but declined to move ahead with the meeting after Zelensky’s decision to replace the management of state energy company Naftogaz. That move led to concerns in the administration he was backsliding on anti-corruption efforts.
If this information is correct, then it means that Biden unceremoniously interferes in the Ukraine’s internal affairs by blackmailing Ukrainian leadership into personnel policy convenient for him. This would not be new, as Biden blackmailed Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s in 2015-16 to fire the country’s Prosecutor General Shokin.
It also shows Biden’s blatant incompetence in security matters. To him, an isolated corporate governance issue is more important than defending Ukraine and European security and stability as a whole.
- Biden deceived Zelensky about the prospects for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration
The first version of the June 7 Ukrainian press release following the telephone conversation between Biden and Zelensky stated the American president’s support for granting Ukraine a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP):
The President of the United States also noted the full support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration and the importance of providing the Ukrainian state with an Action Plan for Membership in the Alliance.
The White House forced the Ukrainians to remove the mention of Biden’s support for the MAP and replace it with attribution of that statement to Zelensky:
Volodymyr Zelensky noted the importance of submitting the Alliance Membership Action Plan to the Ukrainian state.
This scandalous intervention became especially explicit in view of the previous Biden’s promises.
Two months before, on April 2, during the first call between Biden and Zelensky, the Ukrainian press release announced Biden’s support not just for the MAP, but for Ukraine’s full membership in NATO:
The head of the Ukrainian state also stressed that concrete steps to bring Ukraine closer to NATO membership will benefit the entire Alliance. Joe Biden expressed support for Ukraine’s progress towards NATO membership.
At that time there were no objections or protests from the American side. On the contrary, the White House press release confirmed the Biden’s own position on the issue:
The leaders agreed these reforms are central to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
A month later, on May 5, the State Department issued a factsheet The United States and Ukraine: Strategic Partners, in which it pronounced the support of the Biden’s administration for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations:
The United States strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and build a prosperous, secure, and democratic future for all Ukrainians.
However, on June 7, the both the content and modality of the White House press release changed markedly:
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. The leaders discussed our strategic partnership in support of President Zelensky’s plan to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda, based on our shared democratic values and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, that delivers justice, security, and prosperity to the people of Ukraine.
As one can see from the text, changes were serious. Now, not Biden, or the United States but “leaders;” they do not support, but “discussed;” not Ukraine NATO membership, or at least MAP, but “partnership;” partnership in support of “President Zelensky’s plan,” not NATO membership or MAP.
Within a couple of months Biden’s position on Ukraine’s NATO aspirations has radically changed. It evolved from strong personal support for Ukraine’s NATO membership, to an impersonal statement, to slurred porridge.
But, on June 8, the State Secretary Blinken reiterated the U.S. supports Ukrainian MAP.
So, if the official position is still to support Ukrainian MAP, why did the White House force the Ukrainians to change their press release? Just to humiliate the Ukrainian side and appease Putin?
In his interview with Axios, Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted emotionally, but accurately to the often proposed (and, evidently, false) “explanations” of Biden’s refusal to impose sanctions against Putin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline for the sake of allegedly preserving U.S.-German relations:
As long as this [Ukrainian] pipeline is functioning, Russia is obliged to talk to Ukraine, it is obliged to talk to Europe, at the same table. If they build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, circumventing Ukraine, it is clear that the time will come when Ukraine will no longer have this leverage. Everybody is fully aware of this…I understand that the relationship between the United States and Germany is very important. I wouldn’t want to intervene between these two esteemed countries. However, how many Ukrainian lives does the relationship between the United States and Germany cost?
The interviewer understood Zelensky instantly:
What you are saying, I think, is that by making this decision Joe Biden will have blood on his hands…
Alas, Zelensky did not dare to agree. Nevertheless, the Axios journalist was right.
Since Biden’s inauguration, there has been 12-times the numbers of deaths on a monthly basis in Donbas compared to the last six months of Trump in the office. Hundreds of people have been killed, too, since January 20th in Israel, Arab Palestine, Saudi Arabia.
Biden’s consistent policy of surrendering Ukraine to Russia, the aggressor, refusing economic, military, and political support, is whetting the aggressor’s appetite and encouraging his ambitions. Regardless of the motives of this policy, or the tough talk that accompanies it, it leads to only one thing –blood. Lots of blood.