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World Some US allies near Russia are wary of Biden-Putin summit

10:06  14 june  2021
10:06  14 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

Biden to get warm welcome from relieved but wary allies

  Biden to get warm welcome from relieved but wary allies LONDON (AP) — When U.S. President Joe Biden flies to Europe this week, he will find his hosts welcoming but wary. His predecessor Donald Trump may be gone, but he leaves a long shadow. Biden’s first foreign trip as president starts Wednesday and includes a gathering of the Group of Seven wealthy nations by the seaside in southwest England, a NATO summit, a meeting with European Union chiefs, and then a tete-a-tete in Geneva with his Russian counterpart and adversary, Vladimir Putin.For most of America’s allies, Biden is a relief.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden , have discussed tensions in Ukraine, security issues, and the need for nuclear arms control, with the White House proposing a formal meeting in “a third country.” In a statement published on Tuesday, American officials confirmed that the two leaders had spoken about “a number of regional and global issues.” As part of the talks, Biden was said to have “voiced concerns over the sudden Russia military build-up” on the Crimean Peninsula and along the border with Ukraine, calling upon Moscow “to de-escalate tensions.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to Geneva, Switzerland, not merely to appear on the same platform as US President Joe Biden , but because "the poor state of relations" between both countries demands a summit , Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN in an exclusive interview on Friday.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the coming summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin.

FILE - In this May 9, 2021, file photo, Russian paratroopers march the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, marking the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this May 9, 2021, file photo, Russian paratroopers march the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, marking the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Some in the countries that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War worry that Washington could scale down support for its allies in the region in a bid to secure a more stable and predictable relationship with Russia.

Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticism

  Biden, unlike predecessors, has maintained Putin skepticism President Joe Biden frequently talks about what he sees as central in executing effective foreign policy: building personal relationships. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 10, 2011 file photo, then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The Geneva summit between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden on 16 June will not be a friendly encounter. "If we can create mechanisms for working on those issues, then I think we can say the summit was not in vain," Mr Putin argued. Some in Russia suggest a truce in the "diplomatic wars" may also be possible: the US has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and shut down two compounds in recent years; now US missions in Russia are to be barred from employing locals, meaning dramatic cuts in services including visas.

Some officials are wary of a Biden - Putin summit , particularly in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials hope that Biden will find time to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of any talks with Putin. Trump was also continuously wary of penalizing Russia on the world stage, whereas Biden in his first 100 days in office has rolled out two new rounds of sanctions on Moscow and expelled nearly a dozen Russian diplomats from the US . CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kate Bennett contributed to this report.

FILE - In this March 10, 2011, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the Wednesday, June 16, 2021, summit meeting between now U.S. President Biden and Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 10, 2011, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the Wednesday, June 16, 2021, summit meeting between now U.S. President Biden and Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

“I think there have been doubts as to the resoluteness of the present administration to face Russian aggressive actions in a decisive manner,” said Witold Rodkiewicz, chief specialist on Russian politics at Warsaw's Center of Eastern Studies, a state-funded think tank that advises the Polish government.

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.

Biden and Putin will hold a bilateral summit in Geneva, the Kremlin and White House both confirmed, on Tuesday. The city hosts many international organizations and often offers a third-party platform for various meetings. While it won’t be the first time the politicians will meet in person, all their previous one-on-ones happened before Biden was elected to the White House. The two national leaders have a wide array of difficult topics to discuss, considering that the US and Russia are currently at the lowest point in their relations in decades.

If the proposed summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin goes ahead, it will attract the attention of the world’s media and give both men a PR boost. But nothing will fundamentally change. Russian -American relations have gone through some interesting curves on the road recently, leaving many commentators at a loss. Stern warnings, a military showdown, reported plans to deploy the US Navy to the Black Sea (subsequently apparently cancelled), President Joe Biden calling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and proposing a face-to-face summit , followed

Both Russia and the U.S. have sought to moderate expectations about Wednesday's summit in Geneva, ruling out any breakthroughs amid the worst tensions between the two powers since Soviet times, especially after Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, accusations of Russian interference with U.S. elections and hacking attacks, as well as other strains.

Rodkiewicz, however, noted the White House’s decision to waive sanctions against the German company overseeing the prospective Russian-built Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea to Germany. That project could potentially allow Moscow to bypass Ukraine, Poland and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe that collect transit fees on the energy.

FILE - This file frame from a video released on April 23, 2021, by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows, Russian troops board landing vessels after drills in Crimea. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - This file frame from a video released on April 23, 2021, by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows, Russian troops board landing vessels after drills in Crimea. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

“In a clear, unequivocal way the administration signaled that for them, Europe is Germany basically, and German interests are going to be taken into account, while the interests of other players in Europe are going to be sort of put on the back burner,” Rodkiewicz told The Associated Press.

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.

U . S . allies and the Russian people will take note of the summit ’s legitimization of that bad and dangerous conduct. It is this summit that risks disrupting allied and others’ confidence in American leadership. This summit should either be canceled or suspended until Putin significantly improves Russia ’s conduct and shows some sign of a desire to live in peace with the U . S . and our Western allies . Click here to read more by jim gilmore. James S. “Jim” Gilmore III served as President Trump's U . S . ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in

President Joe Biden said Sunday he agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that relations between the US and Russia are at a "low point," days before the two leaders are scheduled to hold a highly anticipated summit in Geneva.

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the troops at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria. In an interview on Russian state television, Putin, ahead of his June 16, 2021, meeting with President Joe Biden, issued a strong, new warning that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was unacceptable for Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Pool Photo via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the troops at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria. In an interview on Russian state television, Putin, ahead of his June 16, 2021, meeting with President Joe Biden, issued a strong, new warning that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was unacceptable for Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Nowhere else are worries about the summit more acute than in Ukraine. It has been locked in a tense tug-of-war with Russia ever since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula following the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-friendly president in 2014 and a Russia-backed separatist insurgency in the country's east — a conflict that has killed more than 14,000.

“Ukraine fears that agreements between Biden and Putin could turn it into a peripheral country,” said Vadim Karasev, an independent Kyiv-based political analyst.

Kyiv worries that Nord Stream 2 would deprive it not only of transit fees for pumping Russian gas to Europe but also erode its strategic importance and weaken it politically.

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.

A U.S. failure to block the pipeline would mark “a personal loss for President Biden” and a “serious geopolitical victory for the Russian Federation," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

He tried in vain to push for a meeting with Biden before the summit but has spoken with him by phone. Biden assured Zelenskyy of the unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kyiv appeared overly eager to interpret the conversation in its favor. In its initial readout of the call, Zelenskyy's office claimed Biden emphasized the importance of offering Ukraine a specific roadmap for joining NATO. But it then changed that version to clarify it was Zelenskyy who pushed for providing Ukraine with a membership action plan; it said Biden promised that Kyiv's position will be taken into account when discussing strategic issues within NATO.

FILE - In this June 4, 2018, file photo, U.S. Marines take a part in a military exercise in the Baltic Sea near the village of Nemirseta, about 340 kilometers (211 miles) northwest of Vilnius, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Lithuania. Ahead of a summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, 2021, Moscow has accused the European Union and NATO members that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact of “Russophobia,” casting them as key instigators of Western sanctions against Russia. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this June 4, 2018, file photo, U.S. Marines take a part in a military exercise in the Baltic Sea near the village of Nemirseta, about 340 kilometers (211 miles) northwest of Vilnius, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Lithuania. Ahead of a summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, 2021, Moscow has accused the European Union and NATO members that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact of “Russophobia,” casting them as key instigators of Western sanctions against Russia. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File)

In an interview on Russian state television, Putin issued a strong, new warning that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was unacceptable for Russia. He noted it would allow the alliance's missiles to reach Moscow and other key targets in western Russia in only seven minutes, a destabilizing situation that he said was comparable to Russia putting its missiles in Mexico or Canada.

Images of Biden's meeting with Putin show a cool but cordial dynamic as the president seeks a reset after Trump

  Images of Biden's meeting with Putin show a cool but cordial dynamic as the president seeks a reset after Trump Trump's behavior toward Putin repeatedly sparked criticism in Washington and fueled suspicions about the president's loyalties.Biden's approach to relations with Putin has marked a significant shift in the US stance toward Russia in comparison to the past four years under former President Donald Trump.

FILE - This image released on Thursday, April 22, 2021 by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows, Russian military vehicles move during drills in Crimea. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - This image released on Thursday, April 22, 2021 by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows, Russian military vehicles move during drills in Crimea. Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow also has bristled at NATO’s joint drills with Ukraine, saying they reflect the alliance’s aggressive intentions. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

In 2008, NATO promised that Ukraine and Georgia would eventually be welcome to join the alliance despite protests from Russia. Four months later, Russia routed Georgia in a five-day war that erupted when the Georgian leadership tried to reclaim control of a separatist region.

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, attend the main stage of the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command-and-staff exercises at the Kapustin Yar training ground, Russia. In an interview on Russian state television, Putin, ahead of his June 16, 2021, meeting with President Joe Biden, issued a strong, new warning that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was unacceptable for Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, attend the main stage of the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command-and-staff exercises at the Kapustin Yar training ground, Russia. In an interview on Russian state television, Putin, ahead of his June 16, 2021, meeting with President Joe Biden, issued a strong, new warning that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was unacceptable for Russia. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Earlier this year, Russia bolstered its forces near Ukraine and warned Kyiv that it could intervene militarily if Ukrainian authorities try to retake the rebel-controlled east. Moscow has since pulled back at least some of its troops, but Ukrainian officials say Russia has kept a massive contingent close to the border.

Biden-Putin summit: Key takeaways from their high-stakes meeting

  Biden-Putin summit: Key takeaways from their high-stakes meeting Here are key takeaways from the high-stakes summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both men called their meeting positive, but while Biden said he raised serious concerns and warned of consequences, he did not claim he got Putin to commit to changing his behavior and the Russian leader accepted no responsibility for cyberattacks on the U.S. or for anything else.

“The Kremlin has signaled that Ukraine’s NATO bid is fraught with a new, hot conflict in Europe, something that Washington definitely doesn’t want,” Karasev said.

Alex Petriashvili, senior fellow at the Rondeli Foundation think tank in Tbilisi, Georgia, deplored the lack of consensus within NATO on granting Ukraine and Georgia clear plans for membership.

“It is certainly negatively affecting the aspirations of the two countries and gives the advantage to Russia, which is fiercely opposing their membership,” Petriashvili said.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis argued that Russia seeks “to reestablish control of internal, foreign and security policies of the states in Central and Eastern Europe” that it considers part of its “privileged sphere of interests.”

”Like in Soviet times, both conventional and hybrid measures are used to assert control,” he told AP.

Russia has rejected allegations it is trying to destabilize the countries or draw them back into its orbit. It has accused the European Union and NATO members that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact of “Russophobia,” casting them as key instigators of Western sanctions that limited Moscow’s access to global capital markets and restricted imports of modern technology.

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy looks at a front-line position from a shelter as he visits eastern Ukraine, where the country's military has been locked in a conflict with Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 14,000 people. Ukraine is especially wary about the June 16, 2021, summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, fearing that agreements between the two leaders could weaken Kyiv’s strategic importance. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy looks at a front-line position from a shelter as he visits eastern Ukraine, where the country's military has been locked in a conflict with Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 14,000 people. Ukraine is especially wary about the June 16, 2021, summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, fearing that agreements between the two leaders could weaken Kyiv’s strategic importance. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)

Landsbergis has shrugged off concerns that Washington could leave its Central and Eastern European allies in the cold.

Biden is playing a long game with Putin. Will it work?: ANALYSIS

  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.

“We have no reasons to doubt our closest trans-Atlantic ally,” Landsbergis told AP. “The Biden administration has on numerous occasions underscored its commitment to work in close coordination with its European allies.”

Latvia’s top diplomat, Edgars Rinkevics, has similarly emphasized that Washington “steadfastly remains the closest ally” and “plays a key role in European security.”

Ondrej Ditrych, director of the Institute of International Relations think-tank, also said he expects Biden to take a firm stance in Geneva.

“Biden is not naive, even as ahead of the summit the administration seems to make overtures to make Russia amenable to discussing strategic issues in earnest,” he said in Prague. “I would not be worried that a détente that would be detrimental to Central and Eastern Europe countries would be in the making.”

Some others aren't so optimistic.

“The real reason to worry is that perhaps Putin might come out of this meeting encouraged by what he sees on the other side, and that might make him bolder to press his advantages in a regional context,” said Rodkiewicz, the Warsaw-based analyst.

___

Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Associated Press writers Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland; Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania; Jari Tanner in Tallinn, Estonia; Karel Janicek in Prague, Czech Republic; and Sophiko Megrelidze in Tbilisi, Georgia, contributed.

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
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