With the changes that took place after the US presidential elections, it was practically predicted that Joe Biden’s coming to power would once again increase the differences and tensions with Russia. While a significant portion of Washington’s differences with Moscow were kept frozen during Donald Trump’s presidency, and Trump was reluctant to activate those faults, Biden embraced the traditional Democrat policy, especially Barack Obama’s policy toward Russia, and he is working differently.
If we examine the essence of the Ukraine crisis as well, we find that in the 2014 crisis, it was actually the Americans who brought about changes in Ukraine’s political system, and then those changes had numerous geopolitical consequences, including annexation of the strategic Crimean Peninsula to Russia. Therefore, just as the Americans at that time tried to use the Ukrainian card against Russia and create a new arena for confrontation with Moscow, Biden is now putting the same traditional policy on the agenda. In addition, contacts that Biden has made with many of Ukraine’s political and economic elites on economic issues, has further intensified the issue. At the same time, the issue of Biden son’s economic ties had become a weak point for him in the presidential elections, and Trump repeatedly touched on this weakness as well as Biden’s economic dealings with the Ukrainians and tried to hit his Democratic rival in that area. What is clear is that Biden’s coming to power and his family’s economic ties with the Ukrainians act as a lobby for Kiev in Washington, trying to strengthen Ukraine’s position in the conflict and tension.
Therefore, both the change of president in the United States and the pursuit of tense policies with Russia, as well as Biden family’s personal relations with the Ukrainians, are among the reasons that have exacerbated tensions in the current situation. It is as if in recent days and weeks the Americans have publicly reaffirmed their arms support for Ukraine.
On the other hand, regarding Russia’s efforts to remove Ukraine from the equation of transmitting gas to Europe, it should be noted that this policy has been a policy that the Russians have tried to use for two decades, and the Russian authorities have tried to use energy weapons, specifically gas weapons, to put pressure on various Ukrainian governments. At least twice during the harsh winters, gas supplies to Ukraine were blocked, and as a result of the fact that one of the most important Russian gas pipelines to Europe passes through Ukraine, the gas supply to European countries was disrupted. After those tensions, both the Russians and the Europeans decided to greatly reduce the impact of those political tensions on the energy issue by building new pipelines. The result of this effort was the formation of the North Stream and South Stream pipelines.
The more important issue at the moment in the field of energy is that the Americans are basically not interested in Russian gas going to Europe, not from Ukraine, but from any other route. Because they believe that importing gas from Russia will make European countries dependent on Russia, which is not a good thing for the United States politically. In the economic sphere, too, the Americans have invested heavily in shale oil and gas extraction in recent years, and have considered European countries as one of their destinations in order to gain new export markets.
Therefore, it is not far-fetched that Washington wants to disrupt this process. As in the Trump era, companies involved in the construction of the Stream rolling gas pipeline, which transports gas from Russia to European countries, are also under sanctions. As a rule, Biden will pursue the same policy towards Russia, and the main goal of the United States is to prevent transfer of Russian gas to Europe as much as possible.
In the wake of the 2014 crisis in Russian-Western relations caused by the Ukraine crisis, the Russians have largely moved toward major foreign policy revisions and sought to expand their ties with non-Western countries, including China, India and Iran.
As a result, it can be expected that as tensions between Moscow and the West increase, the Russians will be more inclined to develop relations with other countries, especially those with a degree of conflict with the West, in which Iran can be a reliable partner for Russia.