There wasn't much in today's papers about the Russian Ukraine grab and the Putin-Biden meeting.
But late in the day, along comes a jaw-dropping news story from the Associated Press that administration officials have suggested that the U.S. will press Ukraine to formally cede a measure of autonomy to Eastern Ukrainian lands now controlled by Russia-backed separatists, who rose up against Kiev in 2014. This is the so-called Minsk Agreement, brokered in 2015 after Russia annexed Crimea – a highly ambiguous deal.
Also, the AP is reporting that senior State Department officials have told Ukraine that NATO membership is unlikely to be approved in the next decade.
In other words, Putin gets what he wants. Namely, no NATO for Ukraine, and he can take over the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine any old time he wants.
If this is true, folks, it is a very bad move that smacks up and down of weakness and appeasement by the United States.
It's also the exact opposite of what the administration told us only a couple of days ago.
Remember this, from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan?
'I will look you in the eye and tell you, as President Biden looked Putin in the eye and told him today, that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now,' he said.
Things we didn't do in 2014 we are prepared to do now. Actually, if the AP is right, I would rephrase that by saying what Obama-Biden did in 2014, which is give up Crimea without a whimper, they're gonna repeat now because they're going to give up the Ukraine to Putin without doing anything about it.
Last night on this show, Senator Lindsey Graham had a very good idea. The U.S. should impose tough, across-the-board sanctions on Russia for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, banking, raw materials, and Putin's oligarchic inner circle right now based on the military buildup.
Then, if Russia stands down, we can take the sanctions down.
'We should impose sanctions on Russia today based on the military buildup. The military buildup is provocative, it’s threatened the territorial integrity of the Ukraine which throws the whole world into chaos. So why don’t we do sanctions against the buildup and if they stand down, we’ll take the sanctions down.," Sen. Graham said.
Again, Biden would give up Ukraine and their dream of joining NATO, thereby allying with the Western democracies and their free market economies. This would be a disastrous course for the U.S., coming on the heels of the catastrophe in Afghanistan, where the U.S. lost so much credibility around the world, prompting Russia to go after the Ukraine again, and China to go after Taiwan.
After all of the U.S. rhetoric from Blinken, Sullivan, and Biden after the Putin meeting, it sounds like we're folding our tent and going away.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the December 9, 2021 edition of "Kudlow."