Will Biden’s visit to Kyiv ‘trigger’ World-War-III?

US President Joe Biden

By Haider Abbas

On the eve of the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war, which started on February 24, 2022, US President Joseph Biden made an unannounced and a ‘kept-secret’ visit to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine,  on February 20, which obviously left all the geo-political analysts baffled if not aghast.  What if there was any attack on him? The world by now must have been into utter chaos, but US had notified Russia about the visit (only five-hours before) and Russia guaranteed Biden’s ‘personal security’.  What now deserves to be speculated are the implications of this ‘high-risk surprise’ visit and how it is to shape the coming events, in terms of geo-politics and on Russia-Ukraine war in particular.

The event of Biden’s visit has sent shockwaves throughout the world, as for weeks US had maintained that Biden had no plans on his itinerary for Kyiv, but Biden landed in Poland, the place considered ‘crucial’ as from Poland had started the Second World War,  for a five-hours visit! This automatically made Russia scramble to recalibrate its response and had to stall all its military operations, but if any private organization had got involved to disturb the ‘Rubicon’? Imagine how the world scenario was to be? Yet, nothing of that propensity happened. Thankfully.

US and NATO and the whole West has stood by Ukraine with billions and billions of USD aid apart from military aid and harsh economic sanctions on Russia since the outbreak of war. But, now the aid is also telling on US as discussions in public-domains can be seen on US media outlets. US had approved 113 billion USD aid to Ukraine in the year 2022 , informed the official website of US, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget 1  on January 5. US had also gone to the extent to extend ‘pension’ to those ‘injured or retired’ fighting from Ukraine army! Nothing short of an open-support of Ukraine be this as US a totally another country is to provide pension to another one? Perhaps, Russia could never fathom for it. This automatically is a signal that the war is now to continue, and may be continue for long.

This apart from the fact that the billions of aid from US has already gone deep into corrupt pockets, as Ukraine had to dismiss its Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov over corruption scandals in early February, told The Deccan Herald 2 . There are now open-discussions, in US, whether the aid from US is also going into the deserving hands? Thus, the Russian response, also did come, almost immediately even before, Biden could leave via Poland on his way back to US, that the Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a live telecast, said that Russia wanted to avoid war but West wanted to attack and slammed the US-NATO stand and never would Russia be defeated, reported The Hindustan Times 3   This war in fact had started when Ukraine was set to join NATO, which was to enable NATO land on the very doorstep of Russia. Buy, the bombshell was yet to come!

Putin also declared his aggressive posture that Russia had been truly snarled by the provocative visit to Biden and Putin declared that Russia is now to walk-out of the nuclear START treaty informed Edition.CNN 4 . In an aggressive tone Putin announced that Russia would conduct nuclear tests if US does it. “I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty,” he said. while delivering the state-of-the-nation address in Moscow. This would mean that Russia has suspended its participation in ‘New Start’ treaty, the strategic arms pact with the United States that had restricted both the countries on increasing their nuclear arsenal. This is the quid pro quo what Biden’s visit could accomplish!

This (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ) START treaty (1991) had been ‘forced-upon’ as a consequence of US bombing a nuclear bomb on  Japan in World war II (1945) ,  which made the erstwhile USSR to conduct its own nuclear test in 1949, as a deterrent to US. Thereafter Russia entered into an arms race with US, and therefore, to calm down this race, START was enacted which spelled that both US and Russia would reduce their respective nuclear weapons, and also ‘limit’ the deployment of nuclear-missiles by both. In order to further give impetus to the previous treaty, a NEW START Treaty was enacted in 2021, that for the next five-years both the nations, would not increase their number of nuclear weapons, deployment of the, like both countries would also stand scrutiny to deployed nuclear missiles etc. This all was done to maintain the trust deficit which both nations lacked. Now Putin has turned-his-back to this Treaty, as a reaction to Biden’s landing in Kyiv.

This means what?  Biden has surely escalated the already alarming position, particularly when, the whole world had been debating that this war may lead into a nuclear-war and which would further lead into the third world war? The world would next debate as to what this show-off visit of Biden could achieve. May be the Sarajevo incident has arrived? Russia has now already tested its SATAN-II nuclear Inter Continental Ballistic Missile to spook US, on February 22. It is now only that China, which has been supporting Russia, throughout the war, has supplied non-lethal weapons, that China  joins the war form the Russian side. The top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, has reached Moscow to finalize the modalities of the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Al Jazeera 5 ad it has been termed that the ‘ties between the two countries are ‘rock solid.’

What repercussions the Biden’s visit is set to unfold can now be easily assuaged as it can easily be argued that, firstly this war is not to end any-time-soon, and the likelihood of the world entering toeards further chaos and also pointedly increased. India is to watch every moment very carefully.


The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on international politics.   


1-      https://www.crfb.org/blogs/congress-approved-113-billion-aid-ukraine-2022

2-      https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-news-politics/ukraine-to-replace-defence-minister-after-corruption-scandals-1188252.html

3-      https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/putin-says-west-started-ukraine-conflict-seeking-unlimited-power-101676971957199.html

4-      https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/21/europe/putin-russia-new-start-nuclear-pact-intl/index.html

5-      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/22/xi-jinping-to-visit-moscow-for-summit-with-putin-report



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