Biden likely to come out of Putin summit empty-handed and risks handing the Kremlin a victory, former US officials warn

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President Joe Biden’s upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, is poised to be one of his biggest tests yet as commander-in-chief and will mark his first big face-to-face meeting with a US adversary on the global stage. 

Relations between the US and Russia have been deteriorating for years, and Washington has struggled to come up with an effective response to Putin’s increasingly aggressive behavior both at home and abroad. Experts warn that Putin has no intention of using the meeting to improve relations, and question what Biden has to gain via the summit. 

“Analysts are struggling to understand what concrete outcomes President Biden will achieve in return for giving Vladimir Putin such an important international spotlight in return for Russia’s increased malign behavior,” Heather Conley, a former senior official for European issues in the State Department under President George W. Bush, told Insider.

“If there aren’t clear deliverables (and both sides have been downplaying outcomes), I think criticism will grow that this high-level meeting ultimately benefited the Kremlin,” Conley, now director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, went on to say.

The US has struggled to influence Russia’s behavior amid historic tensions 

The historically contentious dynamic between the US and Russia can in many ways be traced back to Putin’s unilateral annexation of Crimea in 2014, but it’s been exacerbated by a range of other issues in the years since. The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine involving Kremlin-backed rebels, the Syria conflict, Russia’s interference in US elections, the Kremlin’s treatment of critics like Alexei Navalny, the propping up of Belarus’s authoritarian leader, and concerns over hacking and cybersecurity have also driven a wedge between the two major powers. 

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Biden has sought to walk a fine line between condemning Russia over …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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