Many observers have hoped for more from the Joe Biden-Vladimir Putin meeting. However, USA expert Braml thinks that Biden has done a lot right.
Munich – The ambassadors are allowed to return to the other country, and armaments talks are planned. Much more was not possible at the summit between US President Joe Biden * and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin * in Geneva. Or is it? The USA expert Josef Braml believes that Biden is pursuing a major geostrategic goal – and sees parallels to Richard Nixon.
Mr. Braml, expectations of the summit were low. In your opinion, did it go better or worse than you thought?
Braml: It depends who you ask. If you look at the comments in many US media, then one or the other expectation has been disappointed. Apparently, the commentators assumed that the bad relations between the US and Russia would be carried out on the open stage. But – contrary to expectations for many – Biden has nevertheless found a connection with Putin.
The US president even said he had achieved what he wanted. That sounded a bit full-bodied …
Biden and the US must worry about a common front from Russia and China
So Biden does it like Nixon and wants to win the Russians against China?
From our point of view that would also be rather unpleasant …
Braml: Of course, we Europeans have to start thinking a little at this point. America can no longer serve two fronts at the same time. If there is anything with Taiwan, Japan or in the South China Sea, Washington must show its colors against China and then cannot stand against Russia at the same time. For us this means: we urgently need to take better care of our own security.
Biden corrected a mistake made by Obama
That all sounds very logical, but Putin won the points. With the summit, Biden offered him a prestigious forum.
After the summit, Putin spoke of a glimmer of trust between him and Biden. Is that the start of de-escalation?
Braml: I hope so, also in our interest. If the Russians and the Americans come to terms, the situation will relax for us too. I even think the bigger deal could one day be to say: Ukraine, Georgia or Belarus do not belong in NATO. Nobody will announce this publicly, these states will then simply become a neutral zone. It’s about the Russian protective belt against NATO. Putin won’t move here.
To accept the annexation of Crimea and to “mate” with Russia hardly fits the struggle of the systems that Biden has called.
Braml: It is simply geostrategic realpolitik to get in touch with Russia. For this we will have to hang one or the other moral monstrance a little lower. America will show us how to do this and proceed pragmatically.
The interview was conducted by Marcus Mäckler. * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
List of rubric lists: © Patrick Semansky / dpa