Biden-Putin: A simple summit or a date with history?

There are some meetings that go beyond the appointed moment, such as face-to-face meetings between Russian and American leaders. They echo summits that changed the course of history and carry consequences that are often only seen after the fact. Hence Biden-Putin’s first charm on Wednesday’s tête-à-tête.

The White House has been insisting in recent weeks on the importance of the early stages of President Biden’s first foreign trip. Without a doubt, the G7 summit in England addressed serious issues: the fight against the epidemic, global vaccination, or even the recovery of the global economy.

The situation will not be lighter on Monday at the NATO summit in Brussels, where Joe Biden is expected to reaffirm the US commitment to a grand military alliance, transatlantic security and collective defense. The same busy agenda the next day at the US/EU Summit where, according to the Chair’s team, the leaders will address, among other things, the promotion of democracy and digital cooperation.

However, let’s get down to earth: As far as earnest exchanges can appear, one had to hear sighs of relief and see complicit smiles at the G7 after four turbulent years with Donald Trump to understand that everyone these days are the same length. of time.

Wednesday, the “fun” begins

There is no longer a glimmer of discord between heads of state and government as between Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden, arm in one hand on Friday after the official portrait of the two leaders. The complicity was even more surprising because the two men had never seen each other in person before.

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We were told at the White House that President Biden only wants a “more stable and predictable” diplomatic relationship with Russia. Let’s face it, it would have been easier to achieve had Biden not denounced Vladimir Putin as a “murderer” earlier this year.

Having said that, Joe Biden must avoid two big mistakes. Easier, first, than Donald Trump, who rejected the conclusions of his intelligence services, and took the words of the Kremlin head on his own when he assured him not to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

Failed reset

To this day, Trump is irritated that the Russian president’s courtship has been in doubt during his presidency. The Helsinki conference in June 2018 does not help his case.

Moreover, the US president should refrain from trying to “reset” like Hillary Clinton, then-Secretary of State, in March 2009. A word in the Cyrillic alphabet at the top, but in the end had little effect.

Washington’s list of grievances against Moscow is long — from cyberattacks and destabilizing Russian activity in Ukraine, to human rights abuses and interference in Western democracies — and since Vladimir Putin appears insensitive to international pressure and sanctions, Joe Biden has no choice but to be. directly. Get ready for the sparks!

68 years

  • President of Russia (since 2012; also 1999-2008)
  • Prime Minister of Russia (2008-2012)
  • Ex-KGB spy

78 years

  • President of the United States
  • Vice President (2009-2017)
  • Senator (1973-2009)

President Biden’s first foreign trip

June 10

  • Meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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11, 12 and 13 June (Carbis Bay)

  • Did you miss the G7

June 13 (Windsor Castle)

  • Meeting with Queen Elizabeth II

June 14 – (Brussels)

  • NATO summit.
  • Meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

June 15 (Brussels)

  • european american summit

June 16 – (Geneva)

  • Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin

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