October 26, 2021

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Putin gets what he wants from Biden in Geneva (analysis)

Geneva and London (CNN) – Even before US President Joe Biden met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, expectations were low.

Beyond the agreement to re-establish diplomacy and to open a “constructive” dialogue with the United States on issues such as cyber security and foreign policy, Putin made no mention of the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. Wednesday would have forced a change of attitude. No friendly words will prevent the Russian leader from continuing to severely punish his political agenda in Russia and abroad.

Despite stating in the first part of his press conference that he did not believe there was “any animosity” between him and Biden, Putin began the habit of responding to criticism by saying “what is this? ..”) US opposition to diverting criticism of the Russian Federation.

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are due to meet on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at Villa La Grunge in Geneva, Switzerland.

When asked by CNN about cyber-attacks on US companies from Russian soil, Putin referred to cyber-attacks against Russia. “As far as cyber security is concerned, we have agreed to start consultations on that issue and I think it is very important. Obviously, both parties have to accept some obligations there,” he said.

When asked about Russian domestic politics, Putin repeatedly criticized the stability and moral position of the United States, citing the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill and the assassination of George Floyd. He told many blacks in the United States, “You don’t have time to open your mouth, they will shoot you.”

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When asked about Russia’s repression of domestic political opposition, especially the arrest of Alexei Navalny, the Russian president suggested that the well – known dissidents should actually be arrested.

This man was known to be violating Russian law. He was twice convicted… he consciously wanted to break the law. He did exactly what he wanted to do. So what kind of discussion can we have (about him)? “

On the issue of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, Putin said his country’s military operations in the region were fully compliant with international law, and that in fact the Americans were “occupiers of developing skills on the Russian border.” On the critical issue of Ukraine’s entry into NATO, he said “there is nothing to discuss.”

Regular observers of the Russian president use this level of trust and hatred. Putin is a man who is so confident about his absolute power at home that he can attend a meeting with the most powerful person in the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a press conference on June 16, 2021, after meeting with the US President at Villa La Grunge in Geneva.

Putin took over

The optics of the summit were almost in line with Putin’s internal needs. These meetings were requested by the United States, which, according to the Kremlin, confirms that Putin is a leader with the same status as the US president.

This is exactly what the Kremlin wants. On the other hand, talking equally with the United States does not seek to change the status quo for dialogue, ”said Oleg Ignatov, a senior Russian analyst at the Moscow-based Crisis Group.

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“If the conversation stops or grows in a direction that is detrimental to Moscow, there is no doubt that Putin will continue to test Pita. This is not yet the beginning of the normalization of relations. This is a pause for a major collapse,” he added.

Since it is paradoxical that Putin will stare at the US president in the future, all actions of the Russian president are aimed at how he will act at the national level.

Khair Giles, a senior adviser on the Russia-Eurasia program at Saddam House, noted that taking over the United States was a big part of Putin’s success at home.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (left), US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) pose for the press ahead of the US-Russia summit in Villa La Grange, Geneva, on June 16. , 2021.

“His strong response to both the soft questions of the nurtured Russian media and the challenges of foreign journalists will earn him points among Russians who share his belief in the dangerous, unpredictable and aggressive part of the West’s relationship with the West,” he says. …

Of course, Wednesday’s events have come a long way in the last decade: no matter how harshly the West talks about Russia, it has largely failed to control Putin and his allies. In the eyes of Putin’s opponents, poisoning political opponents and interfering in the elections of other countries has not had enough consequences for one man to support the bombing of Syrian dictator Bashar al – Assad in his own country and to annex foreign territory.

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In the eyes of many of his supporters, Putin’s meeting with the US president appears to be evidence that the Russian leader is fully justified in his actions. They could argue that they have reasonably agreed to work with the United States on major international issues, such as security and the re-establishment of regular diplomatic channels. He was able to do so while highlighting the shortcomings of American society and defending his own.

Biden scolds journalist for questioning Putin 0:50

The summit offered Putin a chance to prevent the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Washington, as the United States may now be reluctant to impose additional sanctions on Russia or condemn Putin for internally detaining opponents. All of this could come in handy when Russia holds parliamentary elections later this year.

In short, Putin went to Geneva and got what he wanted. He left Switzerland and had a great diplomatic victory.