Vice President Joe Biden issued a warning and a challenge to President-elect Donald Trump on Russia’s aims.
Biden, who is set to leave office Friday, urged Europe and the United States in a speech at the World Economic Forum to stand together to defend western values against Russian interference, reported Business Insider.
“Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test for fault lines among Western nations, and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence,” Biden said.
Biden, in what will likely be his final message as vice president, implicitly rejected Trump’s vision for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — which the incoming Republican president, echoing Russian President Vladimir Putin, has dismissed as “obsolete.”
“The single greatest bulwark for our transatlantic partnership is the unshakable commitment of the United States to all our NATO allies,” said Biden, who referred to the pact as a “sacred obligation.” “An attack on one is an attack on all. That can never be called into question.”
He asked journalists covering the event in Davos, Switzerland, not to interpret his remarks as attacks on Trump, but Biden warned against a “dangerous willingness to revert to political small-mindedness” by “dangerous autocrats and demagogues” who wish to “hunker down, shut the gates (and) build walls.”
Biden warned that Russia would attempt to interfere in upcoming elections in France and Germany, just as U.S. intelligence agencies believe Putin directed in Trump’s election and possibly Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.
“Their purpose is clear — to collapse the liberal international order,” Biden warned. “Simply put, Russia has a different vision for the future, which they are pursuing across the board.”
“They seek a return to a world where the strong impose their will through military might, corruption or criminality — while weaker neighbors fall in line,” he added.