Is there a road ahead to improve U.S.-Russia relations under the Biden administration?
- U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Geneva to discuss a broad spectrum of issues.
- Colonial Pipeline ransomware, U.S. Presidential elections meddling, cyberattacks, among the leading agendas.
- President Biden asserts his stand on human rights violation, warning Russia of consequences.
- Russian ambassadors to return to Washington soon.
After months of diplomatic cross swords and preparations, US President Joe Biden confronted his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin, and the two held a notable high-stakes summit in Geneva. It proceeded with a handshake at the gates of 18th century Villa La Grange Villa. According to Biden, it was necessary to come here and talk face to face with Vladimir Putin, saying there’s no alternative for the one-on-one discussions. Both leaders conceded that the US and Russian alliance is as fragile as it can be, therefore, diminishing the probabilities for accomplishing something worthwhile. This discussion was a small one; it was precisely the two Presidents and their aides, Secretary of State of the U.S. and the Foreign Minister of Russia.
The second Biden-Putin interaction
President Joe Biden met President Vladimir Putin back in the year 2011 when he was Vice President. So they have an association; there have been talks over phone calls since President Joe Biden took office.
Biden arrived in the Swiss city, asserting he was prepared for a strong encounter with the Russian President. He is also persuaded to put precise red lines between Washington and Moscow but says he expects room for cooperation. This summit was Putin and Biden’s first-ever face-to-face discussion as world leaders and lasted for several hours.
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Here are the key takeaways from Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden summit.
Problems on the table for discussion at this bilateral meeting comprised sanctions, arms control, and climate change.
● The two administrators might have said that the hour-long conversation was optimistic and agreeable; their meeting, however, did have areas of intense division. Biden and Putin stood on different tangents on press freedoms, human rights, and election interference. For example, President Putin withheld the statement that Moscow was not accountable for meddling with U.S. Presidential elections 2020.
Instead, Putin asserted that the maximum number of cyber-attacks throughout the world comes from the United States and not Russia.
However, the two leaders agreed to start negotiations on cybersecurity.
● Another agenda on the table that registered disagreements was Ukraine. White House condemned the Kremlin of military intervention in Ukraine.
● Despite the differences, both the parties conceded to undertake a dialogue on nuclear arms control. Russia and the U.S. further agreed to return the Kremlin ambassador to Washington, whom Putin withdrew after Joe Biden called him “killer” earlier during March.
The worsening U.S.-Russia relations under Biden administration
“They will return to their place of work. When exactly is a purely technical question,” Putin told reporters after a summit in Geneva.
● President Biden advised Putin that significant infrastructure like energy and water must be strictly off-limits to hacking and instructed that the US would retaliate if such measures were halted. This was in the context of the Colonial pipeline ransomware that was hacked recently by notorious groups, disrupting fuel supply in the eastern part of the U.S.
● Another highlight of the meeting was the discussion on Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader imprisoned by the Putin administration for criticizingKremlin. President Biden asserted that Alexei’s death while in prison could bring deadly consequences for Russia. Putin nonetheless spurned U.S. concerns saying that Alexei Navalny defied the ordinance and knew that he would be incarcerated when he returned.
This discussion reflects the gravity of President Biden’s assurance that the U.S. will hold every country accountable in the light of human rights violations.
The briefing before the press after the Geneva meeting sounded a lot similar to both parties.