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Pres­ident Joe Biden should stay out of the Russia-Ukraine debate | Flickr

Russia could invade Ukraine any day now – and if it happens, the United States should stay out. The Biden admin­is­tration needs to remain as neutral as pos­sible while ensuring peace between the dueling countries.

The last several weeks have seen increasing ten­sions in eastern Europe. Russia has esca­lated its mil­itary presence near the Ukrainian border, with more than 100,000 troops in the region — almost half of the size of Ukraine’s entire mil­itary force. It has also moved massive amounts of mil­itary equipment closer to the Ukrainian border and stated that it has no plans to retreat anytime soon. 

In response to this increased display of mil­itary power, the United States has increased its presence in the region as well, sending 3,000 troops to Poland and Romania. Russian Pres­ident Vladamir Putin and Chinese Pres­ident Xi Jinping met for more than 13 hours on Feb. 6 before releasing a joint statement that they stand in sol­i­darity with each other in their coun­tries’ ven­tures in Ukraine and Taiwan. Matters of foreign policy are often inter­con­nected with others and the fight over Ukraine is no exception. The intro­duction of Russia’s ally China into the sit­u­ation cer­tainly further com­pli­cates things, given the U.S.’s dicy rela­tionship with China.

With this increased show of mil­itary strength and rhetoric, other world leaders have gotten involved and have made attempts at de-esca­lating ten­sions in the region. French Pres­ident Emanuel Macron said he plans to have sep­arate in-person meetings with Putin and Ukraine’s Pres­ident Volodymyr Zelensky in an attempt to find a mutual path to de-esca­lation. Their peace talks began on Feb. 6 and will go on throughout the week. Zelensky has urged world leaders to tone down the talk of war, as this mil­itary display isn’t any­thing new in the region. He and other world leaders worry that, if things get worse, war could break out.

The United States, as well as Germany’s newly elected chan­cellor Olaf Scholz, have threatened sanc­tions on Russia if it invades Ukraine, including ceasing con­struction of a key natural gas pipeline. On January 27, Biden gave a press con­ference explaining the U.S.’ position. He stated, “I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do.” Unfor­tu­nately for the United States, the time has passed for offensive action. The U.S., with its weak leader, is now left to play defense. 

The sit­u­ation would be dif­ferent today if we had attempted peace talks or sanc­tions earlier on in the con­flict. Instead, Biden took his sweet time crafting a messy response. His admin­is­tration needs to stop the needless rhetoric and poorly timed threats of sanc­tions. We need to bring our troops home. Nothing we are doing is helping Ukraine. It is only putting our ser­vicemen and women in harm’s way. We should remain neutral in this con­flict and not let Biden drag the U.S. into another world war.