GOP lawmakers are starting to offer their thoughts on President Biden’s foreign policy as he sits down for his first in-person summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Speaking to “Fox & Friends,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) expressed her concern that the US commander-in-chief was not entering the summit from a position of strength.
“What I’m really looking at is how Biden is going into this meeting,” the No. 3 House Republican told the network. “He’s going into this meeting asserting weakness based upon the policy decisions and the giveaways that the American government has already given to Russia under Vladimir Putin.”
As an example of the concessions, the New York Republican referenced Biden’s lifting of sanctions on Nord Stream 2, the controversial pipeline from Russia to Germany opposed by the Trump administration.
Biden decided to waive sanctions against the Russian-owned company behind the project last month, arguing “it’s almost completely finished.”
Germany, a critical US ally, is also a major proponent of the pipeline’s construction being completed.
“It’s almost completely finished, number one. The idea that anything that — and it’s not like I can allow Germany to do something they’re not,” Biden said when explaining his decision.
While he claimed he had been opposed to Nord Stream 2 from the beginning, it was “almost completed by the time I took office.”
While approving that pipeline, which Stefanik called “a giveaway for Russian energy independence,” Biden opted to block construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the US.
That move, she noted, was “crushing American energy independence.”
She also noted his extension of the New START Treaty, a 2010 nuclear arms control agreement with Russia that Biden agreed to extend in his first weeks in office.
Getting the agreement extended without updated terms was a top goal of the Kremlin, “and President Biden gave it to them,” Stefanik added.
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“I surely hope Joe Biden doesn’t accidentally return the state of Alaska to Putin in their meeting,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) quipped on Twitter as the two presidents made their way to the summit.
“I’m praying for America today, because there has never been a more unqualified person negotiating on our behalf,” the Colorado lawmaker and frequent Biden critic added.
“The meeting between President Biden and Putin has started,” former White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted before making a prediction.
“Not to get ahead of it but the corporate media in the US has already written their stories declaring it a huge success for Biden,” he continued.