Home US Foreign Affairs Biden vs. Putin: Putin Played Political Checkers While Biden Sticks with the Chase

Biden vs. Putin: Putin Played Political Checkers While Biden Sticks with the Chase

by Eli Mshomi
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In the wake of rising tensions and political stakes when both countries have already expelled each other diplomats in a tit-for-tat move, Biden and Putin have managed to break the ice.

As the two most powerful men discussed issues of contradictory interests face-to-face in Geneva, Switzerland, President Biden successfully managed to bring Putin to the negotiation table when the latter was trying to shatter diplomatic efforts by tarnishing the bilateral relations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to play every trick to have the upper hand in the meeting; however, sticking with the chase helped Biden win the show.

Fiona Hill, the former White House National Security Adviser and Russian affairs expert in President Trump’s era, also helped Biden to prepare for the summit. 

Once a Trump-loyalist, she testified against him in his first impeachment trial and is now helping Biden to deal with Russians.

Championing Human Rights: Biden and Putin Hit Hard on Each Other

The increasing ambition of President Biden to highlight human rights issues in the world made Putin angry.

As Biden warned the Russian leader about the consequences if the incarcerated opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, dies in prison, Putin retaliated back, pointing out the persecution of the January 6 rioters.

Comparing the two was absolutely a nonsense move, as prosecuting the Congressional intruders is entirely a different deal than putting the opposition leader in jail.

Putin needed to defend his actions, so he compared apples to oranges for the sake of it.

Due to the autocratic style of government, prosecuting opposition candidates is a regular deal in Russia, but the US saw it from the western perspective.

Safeguarding the US Cyberspace: A Need for a Pro-active Policy for the US

Another bone of contention between the US and Russia lately is the cyber warfare, where Russians have been intervening in the United States affairs.

The tensions skyrocketed after the allegedly Russian-led cyberattacks on the largest gasoline pipeline of the United States resulted in the shutdown of the pipeline.

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When the Colonial pipeline faced the ransom attacks, Biden was assertive that he would raise the issue with Russia, and he successfully did.

However, these attacks also portray the vulnerability of the United States’ critical infrastructure, where countries can disrupt the supply chain with little effort.

While raising the issue with the Russian president is indeed a good approach, now the responsibility lies on Biden to introduce reforms in the cyberinfrastructure to nip the evil in the bud. 

Indeed, being proactive in this technological warfare is the only option when the potential adversaries of the United States are increasing with every passing day.

Warning Russia about any potential cybercrime came after Biden’s meeting with G7 leaders, where they garnered the support of the global leaders for the action.

Now, Russia will be more aware of the potential consequences of crossing red lines and think a thousand times before launching any such attacks. However, fixing the house should be the priority for Biden as well.

Bringing Russia Back to Diplomacy: Biden’s Trick not to Help Russia Escape the Situation

The good thing about Biden’s summit meeting with Putin is that it covered a variety of grounds that were demanding attention for a long time.

These high-profile meetings come once in a while, and maximizing the benefits is the essential thing to do. 

As both countries decided to send their erstwhile expelled ambassadors back, the credit to normalize diplomacy also goes to Biden. 

Russia was the first country to call its ambassador back and claimed the events of “irreversible degradation” of the bilateral relations. 

Keeping the ambassadors expelled was in the best interests of Russia because, this way, the United States could not protest against Russia’s brutal designs in any way.

Both countries have also agreed to assign task experts who will analyze cyberattack problems between the two countries.

Bringing the Russian president onboard on this point is also a big win for the United States, as it can reduce Russian influence in America to a great extent. Russia is famous for meddling in the US elections as well, and their alleged involvement in the 2020 elections is also becoming apparent with the passing days.

So having a team of experts to investigate Russia’s potential involvement in the US’s internal matters would be a hanging sword for the erstwhile Soviet Union.

 

Final Thoughts

The development in the nuclear talks is also an encouraging sign for global peace. As both presidents vowed to replace the new Start treaty after its expiry in 2026, hopes are high that the United States would be successful in curtailing the arms race in the world, for which Russia has been striving for long.

The credit to make them agree on the nuclear talks also goes to Biden, as Russia has repeatedly violated the bilateral and global treaties resulting in increasing tensions. 

Perhaps Biden enjoyed the popular support of the global leaders, which he gathered by meeting them at the G7 summit as well as the NATO summit.

Although Putin did try to play political checkers defending his actions of violating human rights and the cybercrimes, the way Biden cut to the chase depicts his ultimate authority in tackling the global mess.

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