Biden: Russia is Shrinking and Pragmatic

The interview with Vice President Joseph Biden in today’s Wall Street Journal makes for fascinating reading, though there are certainly some quotes that are bound to ruffle feathers, such as his comments about Russia’s “withering” economy.  Below are a few excerpts:

On whether Russian leaders will accept the White House’s outreach efforts:

“These guys aren’t absolute average-intellect ideologues who are clinging to something nobody believes in. They’re pretty pragmatic in the end.”

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On the need for the U.S. not to overplay its hand with Moscow:

“It is never smart to embarrass an individual or a country when they’re dealing with significant loss of face. My dad used to put it another way: Never put another man in a corner where the only way out is over you. It just is not smart.”

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On Russia’s post-Cold War position in the world:

“It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire. The empire was not justified, but still, you’re sitting there and all of a sudden…this country Russia is in a very different circumstance than it has been any time in the last 40 years, or longer.”