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Biden’s commitment to democratic U.S. foreign policy is questioned

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Soon after becoming president, Joe Biden promised to revise the direction of U.S. foreign policy to “better integrate our democratic values ​​with our diplomatic leadership.”

This is part of an effort to draw boundaries in the Trump era, which reduced Washington’s global role, support for human rights, and coordination with democratic allies. Donald Trump’s “America First” policy includes unprecedented access to authoritarian leaders, while Biden hinted that he will re-establish the moral leadership of the United States to defend global democracy.

After the statement made by the leader of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, Biden’s commitment to place democratic values ​​at the core of US foreign policy was called into question. Regular seizure of commercial flights Bring an opposition activist.

Late Friday, the United States took action to punish Minsk for its brazen actions, saying it was joining the European Union, drawing up a broader list of measures against the Lukashenko regime, and planning to impose new sanctions on itself.

But critics say the White House has been slow and hesitant to respond to one of the most shocking human rights violations during Biden’s tenure-which appeared a few days after swift action from Brussels-and agreed to cooperate with the Russian president. The holding of high-profile summits exacerbated this injury to Vladimir Putin.

“In the Soviet Union, and of course, in the Russian tradition, the summit with the US president trumps almost everything else,” said Leon Allen, the Russian director of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who believes that this meeting will give Putin an international Recognition, just like his struggle, has been installed at home.

A senior administration official acknowledged that the White House was forced to strike a balance between promoting a global reaffirmation of democratic principles and more pragmatic considerations, which meant that Biden’s human rights record has so far been “not perfect.”

The official told the Financial Times: “Of course, we sometimes need to weigh trade-offs in terms of the top priority of the country where we work for this government.”

But the official disagrees with the assertion that Belarus is part of a larger trend to withdraw from the promotion of democratic principles abroad. In China, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia The official insisted that elsewhere, the government has taken a principled stand on human rights issues.

Especially after Lukashenko’s Game of Thrones, the Biden-Putin summit will be watched more closely to look for signs that the US president will continue to work on promoting democratic values.

Andrea Praso of Human Rights Watch said that if Biden did not use this meeting to send out a strong human rights message, it would be a “huge disappointment”, especially considering Russia’s renewed tension against Ukraine and its treatment of democracy. The attitude of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He was still in prison after being accused of trying to kill him by the Russian intelligence service.

Despite these actions and allowing Europeans to take the lead in punishing Belarusian planes that were intercepted, the Biden administration also abandoned key sanctions against Belarus. Beixi 2, Putin’s favored Russian gas pipeline project to avoid angering Germany.

Aron said he agreed with one Meeting with Putin After he despised human rights at home and abroad, this was a major policy error, especially at a time when the Russian president was fighting a decline in prestige, sluggish economic growth and domestic protests against Navalny’s treatment. “For them, the meeting proved that they were respected and feared,” he said.

The senior government official said that Biden will have a “tough” dialogue with Putin on human rights and democracy issues, and does not consider the meeting to be a concession. But the official admitted that the incident may become a hostage of Russia’s “spin”.

When talking about Putin, the official said: “Of course, he will use it to gain domestic verification benefits.”

Efforts to adopt a more principled approach to Russia have met the reality that Washington needs the Kremlin to deal with some security priorities, including the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, strategic arms control, the resumption of the Iran nuclear agreement and climate policy.

Andrew Weiss, the former Russian director of the National Security Council, said that previous administrations have encountered similar restrictions. In 2014, after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration tried to cut off high-level contacts with Moscow, but once the Syrian crisis, the policy “began to collapse”-Russia continued to play a huge role in supporting the president. Bashar Assad-the second year requires bilateral contacts.

“The Biden administration has decided that it needs to go directly to the Kremlin,” Weiss said, adding that sanctions against Belarus may be ineffective and bring the regime closer to Moscow.

In terms of rhetoric, Biden also took a tougher line than Barack Obama or Trump did in the early years of their presidency. He told interviewers that he regarded Putin as a “killer,” which prompted the United States and Russia. The ambassador returns.Biden met Putin in 2011 as the vice president; he later recalled telling him that he had No soul.

Nonetheless, critics view the Belarusian response as part of a pattern, including Biden’s failure to impose sanctions on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the release of a U.S. intelligence assessment, which approved a report that led to reporter Jia Jia. The murder of Mar Khashoggi.

“Perhaps the most disappointing part of these incidents is the notion that the promotion of human rights is not always in the interests of the United States,” Praso said, adding that Biden failed to restrain the Israeli attack on Gaza this month. It shows that human rights seem to have been “superseded by other so-called American interests.”

When Biden took office, he had a good record of promoting human rights and democracy. When he was vice president, he sometimes quarreled with more “realistic” officials in the Obama White House.

But Jack Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser and former national security adviser who worked in the Obama administration, recently told the Financial Times that Biden has always believed that U.S. foreign policy is governed by “Enlightened Egoism”, The “naked” self-interests that serve the American middle class work together with the pursuit of greater common interests.

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