Putin and Biden meeting. Medvedev and Peskov Assessment

2 weeks ago
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Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, assessed the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and American leader Joe Biden.

“There will soon be a meeting between the president of our country and the president of the United States of America. At the very least, this is already an opportunity to discuss the most difficult and most conflicting topics,” he said.

According to him, Moscow and Washington need to reach “some other, normal, sustainable principles of cooperation.”

Relations between Russia and the U.S. are currently in a deep crisis, comparable and even worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“During the Cuban Missile Crisis everything was hanging in the balance. But in some respects the current situation is worse. But the current situation is worse in some respects because our partners assume that Russia can be neglected,” Medvedev said.

He added that U.S. officials viewed the Soviet Union as an enemy to be reckoned with, while Russia is seen as a dying country that can be neglected.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said preparations for the leaders’ summit were continuing.

“No one is going to sterilize the agenda,” he said, commenting on Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said Moscow would send signals before the summit that would make Washington “uncomfortable.”

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the Russian side considers the upcoming meeting very important.

In order to adequately assess partners on the eve of the summit, he said, a deep analysis of the entire spectrum of foreign policy is carried out, assessing the statements of the U.S. administration and specific actions. “And also the proportion of consistency of statements with concrete actions, so that there is neither overestimation nor underestimation,” he added.

According to him, the presidents are not planning to sign any documents together yet.

Peskov said that the U.S.-Russia summit is likely to discuss cybersecurity issues. However, the Kremlin spokesman noted that it would be premature to talk about cooperation in this area.

Observer Jed Babbin, a former Secretary of Defense, offered his predictions on the upcoming meeting. Babbin predicted that Putin would be the “winner” of the talks, pointing to the steps already taken by Biden as a pre-condition for this.

Babbin also noted that Biden recently rejected new sanctions against the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. At the same time, the Keystone XL pipeline was recently shut down in the U.S. The observer also considered the USA reaction to the incident with Ryanair plane, after which Putin met with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, insufficient harsh.

Babbin expressed the view that the relations between Russia and the US are quite stable, so if “predictability and stability” of the bilateral relations were the real purpose of the meeting, there would be no need for it.

Washington said that its intentions regarding the U.S.-Russia summit have not changed. The White House’s goal is for the U.S. side to understand Moscow’s plans for the meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden.

“Hearing directly from President Putin is the most effective way to understand Russian plans and intentions,” U.S. administration spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre pointed out.

It is important for the U.S. leader to hold talks with the Russian leader to discuss difficult issues and find areas where the states can make progress.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov responded to a question about the preparations for the meeting.

According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, the format of the meeting has not yet been agreed upon. Ryabkov was also not ready to comment on the substance of the summit preparations, specifying that many ideas are in the works, but “it is premature to talk about anything specific.