A US carrier strike group patrolling the waters east of Hawaii was ordered to move closer to the island Sunday as Russia conducted its largest exercise in the region since the Cold War just before Biden and Putin met in Geneva.
Three missile-armed F-22 stealth fighters were also called in to assess the situation.
“US Indo-Pacific Command is monitoring the Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific,” said spokesman Captain Mike Kafka. “We operate in accordance with international law of the sea and in the air to ensure that all nations can do the same without fear or contest and in order to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific. As Russia operates within the region, it is expected to do so in accordance with international law.”
Russia’s show of force, which officials described as an “operational exercise,” included surface ships, anti-submarine aircraft, and long-range bombers.
“I’m not looking for conflict with Russia, but we will respond if Russia continues its harmful activities and…we will not fail to defend the Transatlantic Alliance or stand up for democratic values,” said President Joe Biden. He met face-to-face with his Russian counterpart Wednesday during a summit in Geneva.
In the meantime, US Department of Defense officials have urged Russia to be more transparent regarding its troop movements. It continues to flex its military muscle in Ukraine. Back in April, President Biden declared a national emergency and expelled 10 Russian diplomats after Russia warned US ships heading towards the Black Sea to “stay away for their own good.”
In addition to military operations, Russia has also been blamed for a series of ransomeware attacks. Such attacks have affected JBS Foods, Colonial Pipeline, and other businesses in the United States.
Author’s Note: Russia is doing to the Biden Administration exactly what President Trump did to North Korea. When you prepare to negotiate with a party you think is weak, you begin by raising the stakes.