It was a constructive conversation in which both leaders showed the will to move forward. Many thorny questions were raised. Vladimir Putin: “Our views are different in principle. But in my experience, we have shown on both sides that there is a will to understand each other and to find ways to come together.”
And Joe Biden also rejoiced after the fact: “I have to say that the tone of the whole meeting, which lasted four hours I believe, was good, positive. It wasn’t a fight. If we weren’t. Okay, I was saying it. And that was If he didn’t agree, he was saying it. But it didn’t happen in a excited atmosphere. “
It was not an easy conversation. It was clear in advance, the expectations were not high. And a joint press conference after the summit was also out of the question. Joe Biden didn’t want that. They are not friends, Putin and Biden. The US president once called his Russian colleague soulless and a murderer. And according to Putin, relations between the two countries under Biden are at their lowest level in years, which was again confirmed by Biden.
But they still started talking. They know that some form of cooperation is needed to prevent escalation. Putin wants to work with the United States in areas such as the climate, terrorism, the coronavirus, and nuclear weapons. Biden wants to make the relationship more predictable. Know what you have in common.
But the contradictions and mistrust are great. Russia does not want to be lectured, but to be treated as an equal. The West complains about many Russian actions. Support for rebels in eastern Ukraine, for example, or the annexation of Crimea, help Belarusian dictator Lukashenko, and silence the opposition at home. But America shouldn’t intervene, says Putin. He thinks it would be better to do something about his own country’s problems, like racism in America and police brutality.
In addition, Putin believes that the United States and NATO are also acting aggressively by organizing military exercises in Eastern Europe, on the border with Russia. The Kremlin believes that the former Eastern Bloc states have become members of NATO.
And then there is cyber warfare. Russia has tried more than once to influence the US elections. Politicians have been hacked and Biden’s son has been vilified for his business activities in Ukraine. In this way, Russia wanted Trump to become president again and not Biden. This undoubtedly led Biden to take a tough stance. He wants to make Putin understand that cyber attacks will no longer be tolerated and will be answered anyway.
‘Talking to each other is already a lot’
US correspondent Erik Mouthaan said of today’s meeting: “Biden spoke to the man who, according to the US intelligence service, did everything to avoid becoming president. So the tone is different from when Trump was president. Trump was pro-Putin. But Biden doesn’t want to be in conflict with Moscow either. He has to deal with so many other things. It will draw a red line here and there. Behavior he can’t agree with, America will do something about it. “Putin says, but if not, they mostly want to get into calmer waters with the Russians.”
Russian correspondent Eva Hartog: “When it comes to issues such as human rights and the situation of Alexei Navalny or the Ukraine, Putin has made it clear that he is charting his own path. But if we are to believe it, they now agree on the need to reestablish diplomatic ties and to talk to each other first. And that’s already a lot in the current situation. “
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