Frayed Ties Tested in Post-Afghanistan Biden–Zelensky Meeting

President Joe Biden (right) meets with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the Oval Office at the White House, September 1, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst
/Reuters)
They discussed a Russian pipeline, Javelin missiles, and an innovative argument for Ukrainian membership in NATO.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he hasty Afghanistan withdrawal, and President Biden’s trashing and abandonment of Afghan allies, shook Washington’s partners in general, and waiving sanctions on Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline this spring infuriated Eastern European allies in particular.

Thankfully, for Ukraine, its struggles are seen as more central to the ever-Atlanticist Biden administration, and, thankfully again, buttressing the country’s defenses against Russian meddling is certainly less costly from a U.S. perspective than direct involvement in Afghanistan. No nation-building necessary.

In this light, Biden’s meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky last week went as well as it could have gone. The president needed to reassure Ukraine that

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