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Biden and Putin’s different goals at the summit

Geneva – The President of the United States does not support Moscow over his own intelligence. There is no talk of a “reset” of Russian relations. And it is highly doubtful that everyone stares at Vladimir Putin’s eyes and discusses his soul.

But beyond that, when President Joe Biden meets Putin for the first time since taking office, it’s not clear what will happen on Wednesday in Geneva. Both sides acknowledge that the relationship between the two countries is dire and neither has great hope for a meaningful consensus area. Still, each person brings their goals to the summit table.

Let’s see what each president wants to achieve in Switzerland.

What Biden wants

Biden and his aides have revealed that he will not follow in the footsteps of his recent predecessor, with the aim of radically changing US relations with Russia. Instead, the White House is looking for a more modest but still crucial goal. It is about moving towards more predictable relationships and trying to curb Russia’s destructive behavior.

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Biden’s first overseas trip was deliberately ordered to meet Putin only after spending a few days meeting with European allies and powerful democracies, including rallies at NATO. He wanted to project a sense of unity and new cooperation after four years of turmoil under former President Donald Trump, who often tried to familiarize the Russian president.

Biden urges Putin to stop interfering with democratic elections, ease tensions with Ukraine, and stop giving hackers conducting cyber and ransomware attacks a safe harbor. Aides believe that lowering temperatures with Russia also strengthens US ties to democracy in the shadow of Moscow.

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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would look for “a field where we can work together to produce results that work for the United States and the American people for our common interests.” ..

Sullivan, who briefed reporters about Air Force One heading to Brussels for the NATO summit, said Biden’s other messages would stick more than carrots. Do you want to respond? ”

There was a short moment in common. Moscow and Washington share common interest in resuming negotiations on strategic stability to conclude a follow-up agreement to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the last US-Russia arms control agreement extended for five years in January. showed that.

Biden disagrees with the Belarusian regime that carried out the recent hijacking and recommends Putin on human rights, including the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in order to stop interfering with elections in other countries. Cyber ​​will also be the focus, and the Geneva Summit will be held a few days after NATO expands its Article 5 Mutual Defense Agreement to include cyber attacks.

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However, the president admitted that there may be no way to suppress Putin.

“There is no guarantee that we can change the behavior of people or the behavior of the country. The dictator is so powerful that we don’t have to answer the public,” he said at a press conference on Sunday after the Group of Seven Summit in the UK. Biden said. “And in fact, if I respond in kind, he may not be discouraged and he may want to continue.”

When it came to evaluating Putin, Biden didn’t chop up the words. He said in an interview earlier this year that he had agreed with Putin’s reputation as a “murderer” and had declared Putin to have no soul.

It was a much colder rhetoric than his predecessor.

Trump warmly talked about Putin and paid tribute to him at one summit in Helsinki in 2018. So he turned his back on his intelligence. President Barack Obama’s administration, though wary of Putin, has expressed hope for a “reset” and improvement of relations with Moscow. And George W. Bush said he “seen the man” and “thought him very frank and credible.”

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“I was able to get a sense of his soul,” Bush said.

Biden does not.

What Putin wants

Putin also does not expect to warm his tie. His main goal is to draw his red line for the new US administration and negotiate a tense situation that will protect Moscow’s important interests.

Russian leaders do not want a new detent to repair the cracks caused by Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. He also does not expect a catastrophic rollback of US and EU sanctions limiting access to Moscow’s global financial markets and top Western technology.

Putin’s mission is now more modest — to elaborate on Russia’s greatest security concerns and try to restore the basic communication channels that would prevent even more dangerous instability.

The main red line in Moscow is Ukraine’s desire to join NATO. Putin, fearing bids to join the alliance, annexes Crimea and casts Moscow’s weight behind separatist forces in the industrial center of eastern Ukraine, which killed more than 14,000 people in a seven-year conflict So, in response to the 2014 expulsion of Ukraine’s Russian-friendly president.

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When tensions along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine increased earlier this year, Russia soon strengthened its troops near Ukraine and tried to force Kiev leaders to regain the rebel-controlled territory. Warned that he would intervene.

Moscow subsequently withdrew some troops from the border area, but Ukrainian leadership said most of them remained near the border.

In an interview with National Television last week, Putin joins NATO as a surviving challenge to Russia, allowing alliance missiles to attack Moscow and other targets in western Russia in just seven minutes. I explained the bid. He compared it to Russia, which is deploying missiles in Canada or Mexico near the US border. “Isn’t it the red line?” He said.

Russian leaders can show some flexibility over other global hotspots, while showing a tough stance towards Ukraine.

Moscow was critical of U.S. military-led operations in Afghanistan, but feared that instability would spread to former Soviet Central Asia, the country would be in turmoil after U.S. troops withdrew later this year. Asia interested in reconciliation to prevent.

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Russia is also involved in painstaking international negotiations to help restore Trump’s surge in nuclear trade with Iran and has expressed its willingness to work with the United States to resume stagnant Middle East peace talks. doing.

And the Kremlin will be interested in signing an agreement in Syria. There, Moscow’s military operations helped President Bashar Assad’s government regain control of most of the country after a devastating civil war, and the United States maintained a limited military presence.

Russia says it is ready to include future doomsday weapons, such as Poseidon atomic power, nuclear-armed underwater drones, and Brevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missiles, provided the United States offers missile defense and space-based potential. Weapon to the equation.

Putin also emphasized Russia’s readiness to work together to address climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

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He pointed out that if Washington had the same obligations, Moscow could agree to hand over the suspected cybercrime to the United States and called for a dialogue on cybercrime.

The White House has strongly downplayed the idea of ​​cybercrime prisoner exchange.

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Isachenkov reported from Moscow.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Biden and Putin’s different goals at the summit

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