Biden-Putin meeting signals testing time for US-Russia relations

‘Reset’ is often the term used to describe a fresh start in diplomatic relations. After a tumultuous period for US-Russia relations it seemed particularly significant that President Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva during his first foreign presidential trip in June.

The meeting followed the G7 Summit in Cornwall – the first face-to-face gathering of major world leaders since the start of the pandemic – and the NATO Summit in Brussels. It also came in the wake of escalating Western sanctions against Russia for egregious human rights violations, namely the poisoning and detention of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

It was the first time the two nations’ presidents had met since June 2018. Sir Tony Brenton, who served as UK Ambassador to Moscow from 2004-2008, believes the discussions were largely fruitful. ‘You have to allow for the fact that there are always going to be really quite sharp disagreements, with the West criticising Russia’s domestic behaviour and some of Russia’s external behaviour,’ Brenton tells Global Insight. ‘Conversely, Russia has now found it in itself to criticise what’s going on in America. But both sides set out their positions and, usefully, both sides made clear their red lines. They agreed to talk further on actually the two most important things that they have to talk about: strategic nuclear weapons and cyber.’

Published on 04-08-21. Read on here

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