Biden remains in Delaware as Russia nuclear forces go on high alert, NATO condemns Putin’s escalation

Sunday has been a day of escalation in Ukraine-Russia tensions, as NATO member Turkey signals that it will close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships and Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian nuclear forces be put on high alert.

And where, one might wonder, is President Joe Biden?

Well, he’s still at his home in Delaware, after leaving the White House on Friday to attend a funeral.

Citing “aggressive statements” by NATO powers, Putin placed his nuclear forces on an increased state of readiness known as “special regime of combat duty,” BizPac Review reported, potentially increasing the readiness of nuclear-capable aircraft.

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere,” Putin said in a televised speech, “but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country.”

The Russian president was referring to a joint decision from the United States and its allies to kick selected Russian banks out of SWIFT, and Turkey’s announcement that it now views the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a war — a signal that it intends to close the straits to Russia under the terms of the 1936 Montreux Convention.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to condemn Putin’s escalation.

 

“The new statement from President Putin just added to the very aggressive rhetoric we have seen from Russia for many months, and especially over the last couple of weeks, where they are not only threatening Ukraine, but also threatening NATO ally countries and demanding we should remove all of our forces from the eastern part of the alliance,” said Stoltenberg. “So this is part of that. And it just highlights the importance of NATO allies standing together, America and Europe standing together, and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

“This is dangerous rhetoric,” he continued. “This is a behavior which is irresponsible. And of course, if you combine this rhetoric with what they’re doing on the ground in Ukraine, waging war against an independent sovereign nation, conducting a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, this adds to the seriousness of the situation.”

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TX) spoke to Fox News Digital at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and stated that Putin only responds to ‘people that show a spine’ and stand up to him. Under Biden’s leadership, he said, the U.S. is just not doing that.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, appears to be doing exactly that, and the no-fear, no-surrender approach must be working for him.

CNN reports that Zelenskyy has agreed to speak with Putin, however the meeting won’t take place in Belarus as Putin would prefer.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk about a meeting between Ukraine and Russia that might end this war and bring the peace back to us,” Zelenskyy said Sunday morning in an address that was posted to the presidency website. “Quite often [Minsk} is mentioned as the place for these negotiations. The location was not chosen by [Ukraine] nor by [Belarus]. It was chosen by the Russian leadership.”

To Belarus, Zelenskyy stated, “If there were no aggressive actions from your territory, we could talk in Minsk, your city. When you were neutral, we talked in Minsk. That’s why we’re not talking in Minsk now.”

The talks will take place on the on the Ukrainian – Belarusian border instead, on Monday.

Meanwhile, Americans are left wondering why, in a time of international crisis, their commander-in-chief is napping away from the White House.

 

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