Published On: Fri, Oct 12th, 2018

World War 3: Putin wants to destroy NATO and the EU, warns Joe Biden during UK visit | World | News

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Mr Biden, who did not rule out a possible challenge to US President in 2020, also took aim at the “charlatans and demagogues” who he accused of stoking prejudices in the UK, the US and the rest of the world.

In an event chaired by Chatham House director Sir Robin Niblett, Mr Biden warned of the dangers of what he called a “declining but aggressive Russia”.

He added: “The Russians are using ever tool at their disposal to destabilise and sow discord.

“Putin’s ultimate goal in my view is the dissolution of NATO and the European Union rather that the re-establishment of the Soviet Union.

“He would rather deal with individual nations he can try to strong-arm than a unified, democratic west.”

Referring to the “special relationship” between the US and the UK, Mr Biden, who met with on Tuesday, also expressed disquiet at the process of Brexit, which he said he would have voted against had he been a UK citizen.

He explained: “US interests are diminished when the US is not an intergral part of Europe.”

Turning his attention to the situation in his own country, he said: “The democracy, freedom and openness which we cherish is under threat from within and from without by the siren calls of phony nationalism, populism and xenophobia which exists in many western democracies today, including the UK and the US.

“Demogogues and charlatans, and we have many of them, step up to pray on people’s fears, stoking prejudices, confident that they can provide incomplete, distorted information.”

Basic values were being shredded, he said, with the rise of the so-called alt-right a particular cause for concern.

He also highlighted a “winner takes all” mentality in the US which was making consensus extremely difficult to reach. 

Mr Biden said the western democracies therefore had to prove the value of the “democratic model” once again – a process he characterised as a “contest for the future”.

Discussing specifically, he lamented the tendency to treat the alliance like a “protection racket” – a possible reference to Mr Trump’s comments about the organisation and his demands for member states to pay in more money.

Mr Biden pointedly avoided mentioning the President by name throughout his address, delivered on Wednesday.

However, pressed about his own political ambitions in a question-and-answer session, the 75-year-old, who opted not to run in 2016 because his son was terminally ill, was bullish about the prospects of a Democractic party candidate ousting the New York billionnaire.

He said: “I think there are many people in the Democractic party who can defeat President Trump.

“Not a single aspiring candidate that I can think of, and I am not one of them at this point, does not have a better understanding of foreign policy than President Trump.

“I’m not being particularly partisan here – the President has acknowledged from the outset that he did not now a lot about foreign policy.

“He said he watched the news though I think he being more and more informed out of necessity.

“But I think there are any number of potential candidates seeking the nomination, from Kamala Harris and a full range of people in my party who would pursue a much more enlightened foreign policy than President Trump.”

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