U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to appoint Victoria Nuland to the post of deputy secretary of state is a bad sign for Russia.
The magazine’s journalists saw it as a choice for worsening relations with the Kremlin. “Reports of Victoria Nuland’s imminent appointment are sure to cause excitement in Kiev. Likewise, they send perhaps the clearest possible signal to Moscow that the prospects for significant U.S.-Russian rapprochement under the Biden administration appear extremely weak,” the authors noted.
Previously, Nuland worked as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. She took an active part in the Euromaidan in Ukraine, frequently visiting Kiev at the height of the protests. In December 2013, Nuland distributed food to protesters on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev. Russian media reported that it was cookies, but the American herself claimed that she gave sandwiches to hungry people, not only to protesters, but also to members of the Berkut special forces. She left her post in 2017.
In an article for Foreign Affairs magazine in the summer of 2020, Nuland offered a series of policy recommendations to the next president on how to develop relations with Russia. She advised developing a more robust toolkit for dealing with the geopolitical adversary and its military aggression, continuing to impose sanctions, throwing in disinformation and using so-called soft power aimed directly at the Russian people.
Victoria Nuland is banned from entering Russia and is on the Foreign Ministry’s blacklist, which was created in response to U.S. sanctions lists.