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Politics Biden to Putin: Help me help you

04:26  17 june  2021
04:26  17 june  2021 Source:   politico.com

Biden likely to come out of Putin summit empty-handed and risks handing the Kremlin a victory, former US officials warn

  Biden likely to come out of Putin summit empty-handed and risks handing the Kremlin a victory, former US officials warn "If there aren't clear deliverables criticism will grow that this high-level meeting ultimately benefited the Kremlin," a former US official said.Relations between the US and Russia have been deteriorating for years, and Washington has struggled to come up with an effective response to Putin's increasingly aggressive behavior both at home and abroad. Experts warn that Putin has no intention of using the meeting to improve relations, and question what Biden has to gain via the summit.

The Biden - Putin meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland, after Biden attended a series of summits with European allies in Britain and Belgium. Aides to the U.S. president had warned in advance not to expect any groundbreaking agreements. They stressed that, above all, it was a chance Biden said he’d given Putin a list of 16 entities — drawn from everything from the energy sector to water systems — that should be off limits to cyberattacks. Biden stressed that Putin needs to take action against cyber criminals on his soil who carry out such attacks, including the use of ransomware, even if the Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mr Biden was an experienced statesman and the two "spoke the same language". The talks lasted four hours, less time than was scheduled. Mr Biden said they did not need to spend more time talking and there was now a genuine prospect to improve relations with Russia. The two sides agreed to begin a dialogue on nuclear arms control. They also said they would return ambassadors to each other's capitals - the envoys were mutually withdrawn for consultations in March, after the US accused Russia of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

More than once on Wednesday, as President Joe Biden described his meeting with Vladimir Putin, he tried to make it sound like he was doing the Russian leader a favor by simply giving him some good advice.

Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin are posing for a picture: U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet on June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. © Denis Balibouse - Pool/Keystone via Getty Images U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet on June 16, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.

America has significant cyber capabilities, Biden pointed out. Surely, Putin wouldn’t want to do anything on the cyber front to make his country the recipient of U.S. wrath. Does Putin really want to improve Russia’s trade status like he says? Maybe he shouldn’t detain American businessmen. And what happens if Putin and his country keep interfering in the elections of other countries? “His credibility worldwide shrinks,” Biden said.

Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticism

  Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticism BRUSSELS (AP) — President Joe Biden frequently talks about what he sees as central in executing effective foreign policy: building personal relationships. But unlike his four most recent White House predecessors, who made an effort to build a measure of rapport with Vladimir Putin, Biden has made clear that the virtue of fusing a personal connection might have its limits when it comes to the Russian leader. The president, who is set to meet with Putin face-to-face on Wednesday in Geneva, has repeated an anecdote about his last meeting with Putin, 10 years ago when he was vice president and Putin was serving as prime minister.

Biden ’s meeting with Putin was the first in what is likely to be a years-long process toward reaching common ground on sensitive issues, ranging from human rights abuses and Russian-linked cyberattacks, to diplomatic expulsions and electoral interference. Speaking at a solo Wednesday evening press Biden said that he and Putin “agreed today to launch a bilateral strategic stability dialogue, that’s diplomatic speak for saying, Let’s get our military experts and our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to control of new, dangerous and sophisticated weapons."

Biden tried to wrap up his Q&A after fielding questions from just six journalists during an appearance that lasted around 30 minutes — about half the time that Putin spent during his own news conference earlier in Geneva, Switzerland. But other reporters kept peppering him with questions as he walked President Joe Biden was peppered with questions as he tried to wrap up a news conference following his meeting with Russian President Valdimir Putin . AP. “What I said was — let’s get this straight — I said what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacted to them and they diminished

Of course, Biden’s message also could be read as a series of semi-veiled threats to the long-ruling Russian autocrat. Biden, however, insisted that while it was not a “kumbaya” meeting, there “were no threats” and that what he was saying wasn’t simply about what works best for America.

“This is not about just our self-interest,” the U.S. president said. “It's about a mutual self-interest.”

Whether Putin will follow Biden’s advice is far from clear, as is the true impact of Wednesday’s much-hyped summit between the two leaders. Both men used words like “constructive” and “positive” to describe the roughly four-hour gathering. But, as expected, little emerged from the talks — at least as far as was conveyed to the public — except agreements to keep talking about issues ranging from nuclear weapons to the war in Ukraine.

Putin talks hacking, Navalny and Capitol riot in NBC interview ahead of Biden summit

  Putin talks hacking, Navalny and Capitol riot in NBC interview ahead of Biden summit In an exclusive interview, Putin again denied that Russian hackers or the government itself were behind cyberattacks in the U.S. were "farcical," and he challenged NBC News, and by implication the U.S. government, to produce proof that Russians were involved."We have been accused of all kinds of things," Putin said. "Election interference, cyberattacks and so on and so forth. And not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. Just unfounded accusations.

Putin added that the conversation was “constructive” and that it was not overshadowed by major questions of domestic politics. “I don't think there was any kind of hostility,” he added, saying that there had been important discussions on collaboration in the Arctic region. Biden spoke to reporters at a press conference held nearby, while Putin addressed the cameras from inside Villa la Grange, the stately manor in the Swiss city where the summit was held. However, the American leader is not expected to take questions from Russian outlets, while a number of Western media groups were

The second session of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin ’s summit in Geneva has now started after a 45-minute break, a White House official confirmed to the press pool. This expanded bilateral meeting will include more of the two leaders’ senior aides in comparison to the first session. Depending on its outcome, the meeting could shadow Biden as he returns home to help revive his domestic agenda. He arrived to the villa bolstered by support from western allies he spent the past week consulting ahead of his face-to-face with the Russian President, who arrived in Geneva Wednesday morning ahead of the

Still, that alone is a win, some analysts said, given the poor state and downward trajectory of the U.S.-Russian relationship.

“Biden set the bar appropriately low for this meeting, and the result — agreeing to talk about the hard but necessary issues of strategic stability, arms control, risk reduction — more than met that bar,” said Matthew Rojansky, director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute. “The way the two presidents described the tone and tenor of their meeting suggests they did exactly what needed to be done, which was to clarify where there is potential for progress, where there is no such potential, and how each side sees things.”

The Biden-Putin meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland, after Biden attended a series of summits with European allies in Britain and Belgium. Aides to the U.S. president had warned in advance not to expect any groundbreaking agreements. They stressed that, above all, it was a chance for Biden to tell Putin face-to-face what he wants from the relationship, and what Russia can expect if it crosses him.

With US-Russia relations at low point, Biden, Putin each bring a wariness to Geneva summit

  With US-Russia relations at low point, Biden, Putin each bring a wariness to Geneva summit When Joe Biden meets Vladimir Putin in Geneva the West's favorite geopolitical bogeyman is not likely to get the easy pass he got from Donald TrumpThree years ago this July, former President Donald Trump stood side by side with the Russian autocrat at a press conference in Finland's capital and blithely dismissed assessments from his own intelligence agencies, defense officials and American lawmakers about Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Russian President Putin and US President Joe Biden shook hands before their meeting got underway in Geneva.

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have concluded their Geneva summit, bringing to an end the first meeting between the pair since Biden took office in January. The talks on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, lasted about four hours, according to the White House. Expectations for any breakthroughs were low, with Moscow and Washington at odds over a range of issues from arms control and cyber-hacking to election interference and Ukraine. Earlier, Putin and Biden shook hands on arrival at the summit. “Mr President, I’d like to thank you for your initiative to

The meeting began with hand shakes, brief smiles and poses for the cameras before the doors were closed for the private sessions. Afterward, Putin held a news conference first, followed by a separate one from Biden.

Biden said he’d given Putin a list of 16 entities — drawn from everything from the energy sector to water systems — that should be off limits to cyberattacks. Biden stressed that Putin needs to take action against cyber criminals on his soil who carry out such attacks, including the use of ransomware, even if the Kremlin had nothing to do with it. He indicated he hoped the two countries could come to some sort of cyber security arrangement.

“Responsible countries need to take action against criminals that conduct ransomware activities on their territory,” Biden said. “So we agreed to task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what is off-limits and to follow-up on specific cases that originate in other countries, and that's either of our countries.”

Biden said he’d discussed the recent ransomware attack on a major energy pipeline in the United States, whose culprits are suspected of ties to Russia, though not necessarily the government there.

The Putin summit may backfire on Biden

  The Putin summit may backfire on Biden The biggest risk Biden faces won’t come during the Putin summit. It’ll possibly come right afterward.That may sound good, but experts warn Biden is setting himself up for potential failure.

“When I talked about the pipeline that ransomware hit in the United States, I looked at him and said, ‘How would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?’” Biden said of Putin. “He said 'it would matter.'”

But when reporters pressed Putin on alleged Russian cyber campaigns against the United States, he largely deflected the questions, claiming that America was the world’s top source of cyberattacks. It was a typical Putin tactic, using “whataboutism” to deflect blame by pointing to others’ flaws.

Putin was also pushed on human rights in Russia, where he is accused of cracking down on political opponents. Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is currently in prison after having survived a poisoning alleged to be the work of the Kremlin.


Video: Biden to Putin: If you don’t cooperate, ‘we will respond’ (TODAY)

Putin insisted he was simply holding accountable people who were breaking Russian laws. He said Navalny, whose name he would not utter, had “consciously ignored the requirements of the law” when he sought treatment for poisoning abroad. Putin did not mention Navalny had been in a coma when taken to Germany.

“The gentleman in question went abroad for treatment. His registration was not asked for,” Putin said. “As soon as he got to the hospital, he shared his videos on the internet, but he ignored the demands of the laws. And knowing about that, he came back to Russia. And so I take it that he wanted consciously to break the law.”

Still a summit secret: What happened in Helsinki between Putin and Trump?

  Still a summit secret: What happened in Helsinki between Putin and Trump? Democrats are no longer pursuing what happened in private meetings at the 2018 summit in Helsinki, Finland, between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. "The Biden administration is looking forward, not back," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., whose panel once considered subpoenaing Trump’s interpreter to testify about his July 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where only an American interpreter was also present.

Putin also used the occasion to slam the United States for everything from the mistreatment of Black people to the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Putin further cast the charges being brought against the people who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as the U.S. persecuting people for their political beliefs.

Biden, meanwhile, played up Putin's agreement to a "bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue." Those future discussions are intended to "lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures," according to a joint statement from Biden and Putin released by the White House. “Strategic stability” typically refers to nuclear arms control issues.

The U.S. president noted that it could be six months or more before there’s a sense on either side as to whether the discussions on strategic stability yield anything. He indicated the U.S. also would keep talking to Russia on other issues, including freeing detained Americans and the future security of war-torn Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.

Biden and Putin also agreed that their countries’ ambassadors, both of whom had returned home in recent weeks, would resume their posts in each other’s capitals, according to Putin. It was not clear exactly when the envoys would go back.

Biden spent significant time at the top of his appearance stressing his belief in the importance of protecting human rights, likely in response to Putin’s allegations during his news conference.

Asked about Putin’s mention of the Jan. 6 rioters, Biden dismissed the idea that there was any equivalence. “My response is what I communicated, and that's a ridiculous comparison,” Biden said, arguing that the rioters damaged the Capitol and caused the death of a security official.

Takeaways from the summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin

  Takeaways from the summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin President Joe Biden's meeting Wednesday with his Russian counterpart came after months of diplomatic wrangling over the details, days of preparation with reams of research and the elaborate construction of two separate lakeside venues for the leaders to appear afterward. © Patrick Semansky/AP President Joe Biden arrives to speak at a news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.

When asked what would happen if Navalny were to die in prison, Biden was blunt. “I made it clear to [Putin] that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia,” Biden said.

Those devastating consequences, Biden explained, would include an erosion of Russia’s reputation on the global stage as other nations realize that, whether through poisoning dissidents or other means, Moscow won’t abide by international norms.

“It's about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way,” Biden said of Russia.

Biden noted that when it came to trade, “I don’t have any problem with doing business with Russia as long as we do it based on the international norms. It's in our interest to see the Russian people do well economically.” But he alluded to the controversial case of Michael Calvey, an American investor whom Russia had put under house arrest, as the type of situation that damages Russia’s ability to engage in trade.

“American businessmen, they are not ready to show up,” Biden said. “They don't want to hang around in Moscow.”

Putin had a different view on this, arguing that there’s tremendous interest from U.S. business leaders in Russia, but that U.S. sanctions on Russia were damaging Americans’ ability to do business there.

Earlier this year, when asked if he thought Putin was a “killer,” Biden agreed with that description. In his news conference, Putin said he was satisfied with an explanation Biden gave of what he had meant. When Biden was asked to share his side during his news conference, he declined.

“He's satisfied,” Biden said of Putin. “Why would I bring it up again?”

Toward the end of his news conference, Biden grew exasperated by questions about how much confidence he had that Putin would listen to him and change his ways.

"I'm not confident he's going to change his behavior. What the hell? What do you do all the time?" the president told one reporter. (He later apologized to the press pool for being “a wise guy.”)

Even as he described trying to convince Putin that it was in his own interest to take a different approach to Washington, Biden nonetheless stressed that he would never take Putin’s word for it.

“This is not about trust,” Biden said. “This is about self-interest and verification of self-interest.”

Overall, Biden expressed confidence in his performance Wednesday. “I did what I came to do,” he said.

Biden is playing a long game with Putin. Will it work?: ANALYSIS .
After their summit this week, President Joe Biden said he is playing a long game with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Will it work?: ANALYSIS. After their afternoon summit in the Swiss capital, Biden said give him time to see if his approach works -- trying to play to Putin's long desire to have Moscow seen as a key power, respected and feared around the globe.

usr: 1
This is interesting!