Joe Biden has been slammed for failing to curb Russia‘s aggression over Ukraine. The Nation Editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel believes Mr Biden’s response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border has only succeeded in pushing Putin to pursue closer ties with China’s President Xi Jinping. 

Ms Vanden Heuvel told Sky News Australia: “This is going to push Russia further into the arms of the Chinese if it proceeds without a resolution with the West, with the European alliance.

“You know, interestingly Ukraine could be a part of both east and west part of Russia, part of EU, part of the European alliance.

“Putin and Xi are meeting next week I believe at the Olympics, what strikes people in this country is that there was a thought that there would be a heavy pivot to Asia, to China, to Taiwan to deal with those issues.

“But instead, the United States has gotten kind of caught up in this.

She continued: “To the point where President Biden spoke honestly at his press conference last week when he said if it’s a small incursion, I mean, it should be led with if it’s a diplomatic resolution, but a small incursion let all these people call him in appeaser if he didn’t bring troops to bear.

“He was talking about punitive sanctions.

“But you know, the sanctions regime has already been imposed on Russia to a large extent.

“Any additional sanctions are going to bring blowback to the Europeans and possibly to China.”

Ms Vanden Heuvel added: “So I think there’s a folly in the way the United States foreign policy is operating to bring Russia and China together in this instance.”

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Putin that an invasion of Ukraine would be a “disastrous step” that could see Russia bogged down in a bloody and protracted conflict.

Mr Johnson said he did not believe war was inevitable and there was a chance that “sense can still prevail”.

But confirming the exit of some British staff from the embassy he said: “We do think it prudent to make some changes now.