Joe Biden wants you to know that the Cold War is back on.
On Tuesday morning, the Vice President addressed the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in his last public speech in office. And he got a warm welcome—a standing ovation to start, and at least one boo when he said a new president will soon take over in the U.S.
Biden used much of the time to express his fears about Russia, and his words offered the sense that he believed that, at least when it came to the U.S. election, the real winner was Russia. But Biden said it was not just in the U.S. that Putin was winning. Rather, he said, Russia was out to disrupt democracy, and through hacks and fake news was propping up isolationist politicians around the globe.
“Under President Putin, Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test the fault lines of western nations and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence,” Biden told the WEF.
With a nod to Davos, Biden noted that in the post-World War II period, countries had spent decades trying to build institutions that would bring nations together to collaborate. Dismantling those organizations just because people don’t think globalism is working would be a mistake, he said, noting that remaining in the NATO alliance was critical to the U.S.’s interests. President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that he is not entirely committed to NATO.
But most of all, Biden aimed his comments at Russia.
“With many countries in Europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process. It will occur again, I promise you. And again the purpose is clear: to collapse the liberal international order,” Biden said.
You’ve been warned.
Reuters contributed to this report.