Although little progress was made after the US and Russian presidents expected in Switzerland on Wednesday, a clear winner emerged: Vladimir Putin.
“In the first minute of the meeting, [President Joe] Biden gave him a gift, “Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov and author of several books on Russia told BuzzFeed News in London.”[Biden] He said Russia and the United States were “two great powers.”
There was no doubt that Donald Trump was the main adviser to the White House at the disastrous 2018 Helsinki summit in Putin. wishing he had faked a medical emergency to end abruptly.
But equalizing the strength of the two nations, even if that was not what Biden wanted to do, Soldatov said, “Putin got what he wanted.”
Geneva spread the red carpet for the two leaders, covering the streets with the flags of their countries and encircling a large part of the lake chalet where they met. Meanwhile, many reporters clamored for positions they were close to and all the movements that cable news channels were telling when they started high-level conversations.
The U.S. party held a summit choreographed to ensure that the two leaders would show that they could be very friendly with the misfortune or moment, as happened at the Trump-Putin summit, and to allow Putin to set the tone and pace of events. For example, the US demanded that Putin, the movement of power, show up late for such events to freeze his opponents in order to get to the meeting as soon as possible. The joint press conference was also set aside.
Putin also appeared awkward and angry at first in the first few minutes of the summit, his eyes fixed on the ground and moving away from Biden, tapping the arm of the chair in the photo shoot and sticking his tongue into his cheek. But make no mistake: The Russian president knew he was at the center, in geopolitical prominence, despite being ousted from the Group of Seven and pariahed after cyberattacks, electoral interference and military invasions in neighboring Ukraine, citing some aggressive actions by Moscow in recent years.
Slightly more than three hours of closed-door interviews (after an hour shorter than expected), Putin appeared before reporters for the first time at his solo press conference. Throwing in the headless look he had worn the day before, the Russian leader appeared pleased with himself and seemed to like the media attention as well.
Speaking of the talks, Putin said there was no despair or hostility between him and Biden, and their meeting was “constructive” but their opinions and views were “different”. He said the two sides showed a willingness to understand each other and get closer to their positions, but suggested he did not take an inch on major issues like Russian human rights and the Ukrainian war, which his army invaded in 2014 and now controls. two vast territories.
Biden, after speaking at his press conference, said the meeting highlighted human rights issues. “I will keep saying … We don’t take our rights out of the government. We have owners because we were born,” Biden said. “Time”.
That is why, Biden continued, the US will continue to raise issues such as harassment and prosecution of Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader in a Russian prison, on charges seen as revenge for his political activities.
In Navalny, Putin told reporters that he and Biden had very different attitudes. Navalny said he knew he had broken the law when the doctor was evacuated to Germany after Novicho poisoned nerve agents last summer. Asked by a journalist what would happen if Putin allowed Navalni to die in prison, Biden said: “I made it clear that the consequences would be devastating for Russia.”
Satisfied with the U.S.’s ability to criticize the U.S. for its civil rights struggles, Putin also led to police brutality and frequent mass shootings: “You can hardly open your mouth before you are shot dead,” he said.
With the button on cyber warfare, Biden said Putin himself and Putin agreed to further discussions after seeing the closure of a major pipeline and meat processing plant following recent events in the U.S. about keeping some type of critical infrastructure unrestricted by cyberattacks. . Biden said Putin was crystal clear about how the U.S. would respond if the attacks continue.
“We will respond in a cyber way. He knows, ”Biden said.
Putin said he and Biden had agreed to look for ways to work together on climate change, especially in the Arctic. And he said he and Biden had jointly found the issue of arms control, and said they understood their responsibility as the world’s highest nuclear power. Biden said the decision to extend the new Biden START Treaty for five years was “timely and necessary” and said they had agreed to start discussions on a new treaty. According to Biden, this means that diplomatic and military experts from the two countries will soon come together to lay the groundwork for a new treaty to achieve a “strategic stability dialogue”.
Putin said Russia and the United States had agreed that ambassadors should “return to their posts and take up their functions” in the near future.
But beyond that, there was not much progress to be made from the summit.
That’s not surprising. White House officials said ahead of the summit that they did not expect the meeting to lead to a major political agreement, but said it was the first step in establishing a working relationship that would last two decades when they met two decades ago. Biden described it as an exchange of tension. (Biden said said then-Prime Minister Putin, “I don’t think you have a soul.”)
Unlike embarrassing 2018 meeting in Helsinki between Putin and Trump, Flattered the Russian leader and said he trusted him over U.S. intelligence workers when Putin said the Kremlin had no obstacles in the 2016 election, he never expected this summit to be a friendly affair.
The two countries have been negotiating barbs for months. In March, Biden Putin is said to be a “killer” – The Kremlin said the release was “very bad”. They then recalled the DC ambassador to “examine what needs to be done” about country relations; the Kremlin later asked the US ambassador to return home as well.
In the days leading up to the Geneva Summit, Biden seemed to be softening his stance in the hope of putting in friendly lands in order to meet Putin, calling him light, tough and a “decent enemy”. But Biden also said he would not keep his word to his counterpart and would “check and then trust” him.
However, relations between the US and Russia at their lowest point since the Cold War have been a positive development for a high-level pre-meeting, according to some experts.
“It simply came to our notice then. Biden … understands the dance of diplomacy, “Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, told BuzzFeed News.” It’s about knowing how the Russian system works. What you’re trying to do is pay attention to Russia’s growing behavior. You can’t. do it at lower levels. “
Joint US-Russia statement released at the end of the summit, Biden and Putin “have demonstrated, even in times of tension, that they are able to ensure predictability in the strategic area to advance our shared goals of reducing the risk and threat of armed conflict. nuclear war.”
So will Wednesday’s meeting lead to an improvement or a new stage in US-Russia relations?
Biden said it would take three to six months to find out if the summit had yielded results.
For his part, Putin said it was “hard to say” and suggested the ball was in the Washington court.
“Everything related to the deterioration of mutual relations is started not only by us but also by the US,” Putin lied.
He then added, paraphrasing the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy: “There is no happiness in life. There’s just a miracle on the horizon, so love that. ”