Although President Vladimir Putin has tried to stage indifference, pretending to downplay the fact that his American counterpart Joe Biden believes he is a “murderer”, the truth is that the procession is going inside. Putin tried on Thursday to show that he was not offended, wishing Biden health, which some interpret as a clear hint that he is an elderly person and others as a threat, and proposed a meeting by videoconference broadcast live to the whole world. world.
But Biden’s words have caused real outrage in the presidential environment, in the Russian government and, in general, among politicians, businessmen and journalists related to Putin. Even the Ukrainian political scientist, Tarás Berezóvets, believes that “Biden has crossed a red line (…) that will lead to a new cold war.”
Senator and journalist Alexei Pushkov believes, for his part, that Biden “has sent a signal to his European allies of how to act with Moscow”, just on the eve of the European summit next Thursday in Brussels, which includes a new discussion on relations between the EU and Russia. According to Pushkov, who advises the US president to “take a diplomacy course”, “the United States is preparing to besiege Russia politically and economically.”
Many analysts are convinced that the head of the White House agreed that Putin is a murderer “without soul” after reading the reports of the Office of the US Director of National Intelligence that his predecessor, Donald Trump, left stacked in the Oval Office without paying the slightest attention to them.
Such documents speak of Russia’s attempts to interfere in the US elections in 2016 and 2020, various cyberattacks, the death of Putin’s political opponents, such as Boris Nemtsov, and the poisoning he suffered in Siberia last year. Alexéi Navalni, currently in prison with a sentence of two years and five months of deprivation of liberty.
To explain Biden’s animosity towards Putin, Russian journalist Karina Orlova recalls how Kremlin propaganda exposed the dirty laundry of Biden’s son Hunter Hunter’s business in Ukraine to undermine his chances in last year’s elections. November, how the Kremlin aligned itself with Trump’s thesis on an alleged fraud perpetrated in those elections and how Putin took more than a month to congratulate him when he did so with Trump the next day.
“New strategy” in relationships
But the current US president is nothing more than the heir to relations with Russia already degraded beforehand. A turning point was the abandonment by the United States of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), in December 200, an agreement that was signed in 1972. Putin did not like that decision by Washington at all and has always considered that it opened the door to “dismantling the global security system.”
The Russian president also viewed with suspicion the US intervention in Iraq in 2003. So, with sharp knives, Putin attended the Munich Security Conference, where, on February 10, 2007, he launched his vitriolic tirade against states. United, whom he accused of trying to impose by force a “unipolar” world and of bringing NATO closer to the very borders of Russia.
In August 2008, Russia fought a blitzkrieg with Georgia, turning Abkhazia and South Ossetia into its protectorates, and just five years later, Putin granted political asylum to American fugitive Edward Snowden, prompting Barack Obama to cancel a meeting with the Russian leader who had been scheduled for September 2013.
Moscow’s relations with the United States were much more strained by the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbass, which ushered in the era of sanctions. Trump, whose 2016 presidential victory caused rejoicing in the Kremlin, ended up disappointing Putin. With it, sanctions against Russia were increased, important disarmament agreements fell through, and geopolitical tensions worsened.
After calling the ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, for consultations, Russia is preparing to draw up a “new strategy” in relations with the United States. Analysts draw different scenarios, some disturbing such as the Kremlin launching a new war adventure again in Ukraine, in the Baltic republics or in Moldova. But realism advises Putin to avoid dangerous fuss for him, for his country and for the security of the planet in general.
New sanctions on Russia
Everything indicates that, in the current context, the most affected will end up being Russia, against which Washington is preparing more sanctions, including paralyzing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project to bring Russian gas to Germany through the seabed Baltic, close Russia’s international access to bank loans and the Swift transfer system.
Russian political scientist Lilia Shevtsova predicts that “in the short term, confrontation with the West may strengthen the autocracy in Russia”, but believes that, in the long term, “we have to go to 1991 to guess the outcome”, suggesting that Russia can meet the same fate as the former Soviet Union.
In any case, Shevtsova thinks that “looking at Western leaders, especially in continental Europe, it seems doubtful that they will give up a comfortable relationship with Russia based on interest, in which case we will rot together.” “But if Biden really wants to consolidate the fight against corruption and kleptocracy, then the Russian elite has something to worry about,” he concludes.
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