"Dialogue is better than silence": experts assess the first conversation between Biden and Putin
Analytics

"Dialogue is better than silence": experts assess the first conversation between Biden and Putin

27 January , 13:22
Despite the tough stance taken by the new US president towards Russia, analysts hope that a new Cold War will be avoided.

As already reported to Novye Izvestia, US President Joe Biden held his first telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin press service said that Putin and Biden discussed the fight against coronavirus, START, the Iranian nuclear program and international stability.

In a conversation with Biden, Putin recalled that "the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and, given their special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world, the entire international community".

It is also reported that the heads of the two countries "expressed satisfaction" with the exchange of diplomatic notes on the agreement to extend the START-3 agreement.

Both presidents discussed topical bilateral and international issues. In addition, they considered opportunities for cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, as well as in other areas.

"Among the international topics were the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, the problem of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, the internal Ukrainian settlement, as well as the Russian initiative to hold a summit of permanent members of the UN Security Council", - the Kremlin said.

At the same time, the White House website published the full text of the official message about the conversation between the two presidents, about some topics of which were missing in the Kremlin's message:

“President Biden spoke with Russian President Putin today. They discussed the readiness of both countries to extend the new START treaty for five years, agreeing that their groups urgently work on its extension by February 5. The Presidents also agreed to examine the state of strategic stability on a range of arms control issues and emerging security issues.

President Biden reaffirmed strong US support for Ukraine's sovereignty. He also raised other issues of concern, including:

  • hack SolarWinds,
  • reports that Russia has been awarding bounties to US soldiers in Afghanistan,
  • Russian interference in the US elections in 2020,
  • the poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

President Biden has made it clear that the United States will act tough to defend its national interests in response to Russian actions that harm the United States or its allies.

The presidents agreed to maintain transparent and consistent communication in the future".

In addition, in her briefing on the matter, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US President considers the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline "a bad deal for Europe", noting that the new administration will appreciate the measures against the pipeline construction taken by its predecessors.

“We know that the previous administration imposed new sanctions against the pipeline. We are currently reviewing these measures and consulting with our European partners, ”the spokeswoman added. Psaki noted that the topic of Nord Stream 2 was discussed during telephone conversations between Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This event is actively commented on by the media and social networks.

Thus, for journalist Kirill Shulika, the differences in the accents of messages in the Russian and American press were reminded of the times of the Cold War:

“Everything returned to the Cold War when there was an anecdote. The USA and the USSR decided to measure their strength and arrange a race between their leaders. It is clear that a healthier and more athletic Carter bypassed the sick and clumsy Brezhnev. The next day, a short message appears in the American press: “Then and there a running competition took place between President Carter and Secretary General Brezhnev. Carter won".

In the Soviet newspapers: "Then and there an international race took place. Among the participants...", - then a whole strip of praises goes on and the regalia of Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter is listed. The article ends: "As a result, Leonid Ilyich finished second, and US President Carter finished second to last".

Political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov:

“Putin congratulated Biden on starting his presidency and noted that the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and, given their special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world, the entire international community.

This call is not a mere formality. Everyone, both Russia and the United States, needs normalization, since in recent years, internal problems have accumulated in both countries. Biden will have to clean up Trump's legacy, while Russia needs to deal with the economy and normalize a fragmented society.

As I have already said, Moscow and Washington have the opportunity to come to an agreement. Of course, it is too early to talk about a "reset", and one should not expect an official warming of relations, but behind the scenes negotiations may begin. The Russian elites have relations with the Democratic Party, and they can be conducted by representatives of several groups at once. The key topics now will be on strategic offensive arms, the Nord Stream and the reduction of sanctions pressure (at least in terms of the adoption of new sanctions, including personal ones).

For Russia, relations with the United States are also important because they will largely determine the contours of the transfer of power. As has been said more than once, the pressure on Putin has the opposite effect, and if the West would like to get someone more acceptable to them as the successor of the incumbent president, then this pressure should now be reduced. Of course, a number of painful issues remain, among other things related to the current agenda - opposition rallies and the trial of Navalny, which will be held on February 3. In many ways, it will now be decisive in the negotiations, since all this will affect global economic projects, including Nord Stream..."

Journalist Pavel Pryanikov rightly believes that dialogue between the leaders of the two states is still better than silence:

“They write that Biden today lectured Putin on the phone over all of his jambs (“Biden’s now you won’t be spoiled!”)

Well, it's already good that the two presidents began to talk. Trump was not interested in all this.

Dialogue is better than silence. At the same time, the American Great-Grandfather will make the top nomenclature of Russia move (and movement is life)..."

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