In an interview with CNN, U.S. President Joe Biden makes it clear: In his estimation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has completely miscalculated with the war of aggression against Ukraine. Biden considers Putin a “rational actor,” but his goals irrational.
Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has miscalculated his war of aggression against Ukraine, according to U.S. President Joe Biden. “I think he is a rational actor who has miscalculated significantly,” Biden told U.S. broadcaster CNN in an interview aired Tuesday evening. Putin, he said, mistakenly assumed the Ukrainians would submit to a Russian invasion.
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“I think he thought he would be welcomed with open arms,” Biden said. “I think he just completely miscalculated.” While he believes Putin is acting rationally, his goals in Ukraine are irrational, he said.
This is also clear, he said, if one listens to Putin’s speech, which he gave immediately after his decision to wage a war of aggression against Ukraine. There, Putin had spoken of the idea that he was needed as the leader of a Russia “that unites all Russian-speaking people,” Biden said. “I just think that’s irrational.”
Biden does not assume use of Russian nuclear weapons
On the question of whether Putin might follow through on his threats to use nuclear weapons, Biden said, “I don’t think he will.” But he said it would be “irresponsible” for the head of state of one of the world’s largest nuclear powers to say he might use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine. As a result, he said, mistakes could be made and misjudgments could be made. “He cannot talk about the use of a tactical nuclear weapon with impunity, as if that were a reasonable thing to do.”
Russian leaders, meanwhile, are open to a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Biden. If Washington were to offer a meeting at the G20 summit, Moscow would consider it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Russian state television.
According to him, the Kremlin would also be ready to “listen to any proposals on peace talks” – for example, mediated by Turkey. However, he could not say in advance where this process would lead, Lavrov stated. He then further qualified that there had been no proposals to engage with the United States so far.