After Donald Trump’s four-year flirtation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden has set a new, colder tone despite his openness on arms control.
In his first week, Biden has already taken Moscow to task with the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as alleged hacking, election interference and bounty on US troops – but also quickly the new START, the Cold War. Moved to expand the powers of the Yuga ‘last remaining nuclear cut treaty.
Biden’s approach almost mirrors that of Trump, who spoke fiercely with Putin, but whose administration made an arms deal.
The White House announced a five-year extension of New START last week, but at the same time said that the US Intelligence Department will launch an investigation into Russia – including that Trump behind the massive SolarWinds hack, which experts oppose Were doing, said that work could be their nemesis to China.
New Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Navalny at his first news conference, constantly criticizing Putin for his toxicity and then prompting thousands to take to the streets when he returned to Moscow.
Blinken said on Wednesday, “It is a matter of concern to me, and perhaps even scared, that the Russian government looks like a man – Mr. Navalny.” “Very good for me.”
US experts in Russia were hopeful that Biden’s initial steps would reflect a long-term hard line – though he also suspected that Putin had been duped by an American president, especially as he faced opposition.
Eurasia Group President Ian Bremer said the US-Russia relationship was “possibly the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
“The Biden administration is more unified on its tougher message and more integrated with allies, and that Putin will be put a bit more pressure on the margins,” he said.
– Trump effort shocked –
US intelligence found that Russia focused on supporting Trump in the 2016 election, which was notorious for taking Putin’s refusal at face value during the 2018 summit in Helsinki.
But Bremer noted that despite Trump’s friendliness to Putin, everyone around the tycoon opposed warming his relationship with Russia with his cabinet, Republicans in Congress, and most conservative-oriented media.
“Trump really had no ability to improve the reality of relations between the US and Russia and that never happened,” Bremer said.
Trump, with his hobby with authoritarian leaders, was unusually secluded from Putin, but he was not the only one to begin his term by demanding better relations.
Barack Obama spoke of a “reset” of Russia’s ties with Georgia’s pro-Western government after the 2008 war, while George W. Bush said after his first meeting with the former KGB agent: “I get to realize his soul Was able to
Biden has chosen allies known for their indecency over Russia – notably Victoria Newland, named to become number three in the State Department, who joined protesters in Ukraine since she held the Moscow-coalition president’s post in 2014 Was removed from.
– new start not new start –
William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Cannon Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said the expansion of New Start was a “low-hanging fruit” – it was scheduled to end within days and because of Trump’s efforts to extend the treaty to China . No headway.
But he said Putin’s actions, including blaming the United States for the protests in support of Navalny, show that he was not looking for common ground with the United States.
“Two more Vladimir Putin have given no indication that he wants to change the tenure of US-Russia relations,” Pomeranz said.
Pomarzan expected the Biden administration to end Trump’s “personal and ad hoc” policy.
“I think the lesson from the Trump administration is that if the United States does not hold Russia accountable for its actions, it will not be deterred – it will take those opportunities and expand them,” he said.
“What we have now is a return to a more professional but still rigorous administration that will not give Russia the benefit of the doubt.”
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