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The Biden-Putin summit: winners and losers


President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva for a highly anticipated diplomatic demonstration where both leaders maintained a “positive” dialogue despite the deeply strained US-Russia relations.

Experts say Putin enjoyed basking in the spotlight on the world stage where he could peddle his own propaganda. Biden had less to win – and he won less.

winner

Wladimir Putin

“I think they both got what they wanted,” retired General Jack Keane, former army deputy chief of staff, told Fox News. Putin, in my opinion, got more out of it than he expected given the big concessions made before the summit and that he was able to deny and distract the big problems. ”

For Putin, it was the first adversary to sit down with the US president on international territory and gave him the opportunity to increase his stature in the face of waning support in his homeland.

“Putin got what we wanted, that was a big summit before his parliamentary elections,” said Daniel Hoffman, former head of the CIA station in Moscow and an employee of Fox News, in an interview with Fox News.

Keane agreed. “At home, his population is dwindling, his economy is in full swing, his response to COVID-19 has been terrible – he only vaccinated about 11% of the country – and they’re very mad at him.”

Face to face time

“There is no substitute for personal dialogue between heads of state or government.

Hoffman said that although the summit raised Putin’s reputation, it was necessary for the president to meet with him.

The two world leaders personally agreed to exchange ambassadors again, Biden could promise consequences if the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny dies in prison, gave Putin 16 “off-limits” infrastructure units to avoid cyber attacks and urged Putin abused the Russian leader on human rights. For his part, Putin denied and distracted when faced with alleged abuses.

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China

Relations between Russia and China have grown so strong that Chinese President Xi Jinping called Putin his “best friend” weeks ago. Putin’s appearance on the world stage bodes well for a fellow opponent.

Rebekah Koffler, former Defense Intelligence Agency for Russia and author of the forthcoming Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America, told Fox News. China is “excited” about the course of the summit.

“It is quite a mistake by the Biden government to allow Putin to abuse and discredit us in a solo press conference. In order to give them this ability, China has the edge. ”

“I think China is pleased that Russia is such a thorn in our side. We are taking so much of our time, energy and resources dealing with Russia that we have less to do with China,” said Hoffman.

loser

President Biden

Some experts believe Biden may have played his cards too early, which left him in a weakened negotiating position before the summit began.

Koffler said that Biden left the extension of the Start II contract and the lifting of the Nord Stream 2 sanctions before the summit without a basis for negotiation.

“I think our president is losing and Putin is winning, and that was before the summit,” she said.

Biden, said Koffler, “pretty much turned the business over to the Russians. He had no bargaining power.”

Koffler agreed that Biden would have to meet with Putin at some point, but said Putin had recently “established a dominance” through his alleged involvement in a number of cybersecurity attacks and other forms of “diplomatic intimidation”.

Experts agreed that after the SolarWinds attack, among other things, the US should have hit back harder with its own counterattack capabilities.

Keane said he believed the conference took place too early in Biden’s presidency. “It should have been done this year, or better yet, next year. That would allow staff to resolve the major issues we have and the issues we may have some similarities and similarities on, ”he said.

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Hoffman said that although the summit raised Putin’s reputation, it was necessary for the president to meet with him.

“Where Biden missed an opportunity, stand next to him at the press conference,” Hoffman said.

“For me that meant not to lose, but to play to win. Go out there and argue the points … ‘did.”

The stable and predictable relationship

The White House said the aim of the summit is to build a “stable” and “predictable” relationship with Russia.

“There isn’t much evidence of President Biden’s goal of improving the relationship so that it becomes more stable and predictable. It will take some time to see if this has been achieved, I think the first signs are that it has not, ”said Keane.

Biden said he doesn’t believe Putin is seeking a cold war with the United States, but that Putin has not pledged to stop cyberattacks and instead denies that he was involved. For his part, Biden gave Putin a list of 16 critical infrastructure units “not allowed” to attack, but said he did not discuss military actions as a threat.

Victor Navalny

Putin’s rejection of all human rights claims against Russia during his press conference does not bode well for him if he listens to Biden’s insistence not to let the imprisoned Kremlin critic Navalny die in prison.

The Russian president was asked about the long list of his opponents, dead or in jail, and how Putin prevented anyone who supports Navalny from running for office.

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Putin first said that Nawalny’s organization had called for mass rioting and was extremist in nature, then poked the question and turned on riots in the US, citing the January 6 arrests, police killings and protests against Black Lives Matter.

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