Ties between Moscow and Washington D.C. are at their all-time low, largely in part to the Democrats and their media operatives who routinely sow discord between the two global powerhouses.
Russia immediately became a media target upon Donald Trump entering the White House, with years-long investigations and constant fear mongering; a new Red Scare was born.
Putin even spoke highly of Trump, comparing him to the “career man” that is Biden.
During an interview he confirmed that relations with U.S. are at an all time low, and even responded to Biden’s divisive rhetoric, calling the Russian President a “killer.”
In an excerpt of an exclusive interview with NBC, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia's relations with the United States have deteriorated to their lowest point in recent years. pic.twitter.com/8ihdDBPBBg
— ANews (@anews) June 12, 2021
However, Biden and Putin’s first in-person meeting is set to occur in Geneva on Wednesday, and a wide array of topics are said to be discussed. Both parties hope that this encounter will stable the unpredictable relations between the two countries as geopolitics is currently undergoing a drastic change.
In an NBC News worldwide exclusive, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with @KeirSimmons for a rare interview addressing many issues that will be on the table with President Biden later this week, including human rights and cyberattacks. pic.twitter.com/BAmVsU5dXe
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 14, 2021
Among the disagreements, there are some issues where Russia and the United States could make some progress.
Cyberattacks linked to Russian criminal organizations have now struck critical American infrastructure twice since Joe Biden assumed office.
The FBI has not disclosed any evidence showing Russian government involvement in the attacks on U.S. fuel transporter Colonial Pipeline Co and meatpacker JBS SA of Brazil. Vladimir Putin says any accusations on the part of the American intelligence community is absurd.
But Biden intends to bring up the issue and has suggested he wants Russian authorities to crack down on such cybercriminals. Putin has said Moscow would be willing to hand over suspects if any deal cuts both ways.
Biden is also likely to raise U.S. concerns over Russian cyber meddling in U.S. politics, something Moscow, which is pushing for a cyber non-interference pact, denies.
Biden has said his administration will prioritize the global promotion of human rights and democracy and not shy away from warning countries over their records.
Washington has criticized Moscow over its treatment and alleged poisoning of Navalny, and says he should be freed.
The Putin interview is very good. This guy is on top of his game, knows every issue in detail, knows how to pivot, knows how to troll. He just runs rings around this NBC stenographer. Biden is going to have a tough day tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/I6LLwXszhy
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) June 15, 2021
The United States has been Ukraine’s most powerful ally since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move that pushed Moscow’s ties with the West to post-Cold war lows.
A build-up of Russian forces in Crimea and near Ukraine’s borders earlier this year worried Washington, which wants Russia to return Crimea and Kyiv to regain control of a swath of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
NATO leaders on Monday reiterated a 2008 decision that Ukraine could one day join, but Biden said Kyiv had to root out corruption and meet other criteria first.
Putin had made clear that Ukraine is a ‘red line’ and that he wants Washington to steer clear. He has balked at the idea of Ukrainian membership of NATO, said Crimea is Russian, and told Kyiv it needs to talk to separatists in eastern Ukraine if it wants the territory back in any form.
The status of foreign missions is one area where both sides believe there may be scope for progress.
Russia recalled Anatoly Antonov, its ambassador to Washington, in March after Biden said he believed Putin was a “killer,” while John Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, returned to Washington for consultations in April.
Russia, in response to U.S. sanctions, has imposed limits on the number of local staff the U.S. embassy can employ, forcing Washington to cut consular services.
It has also withdrawn from an agreement that eased restrictions on diplomats traveling around each other’s countries.
Russia is holding former U.S. marine Paul Whelan on an espionage conviction, and Trevor Reed, another former U.S. marine, for an alleged assault on a police officer. Both deny wrongdoing.
Asked if he would consider a prisoner swap, Putin a reporter: “Yes, yes of course.”
Whelan’s Russian lawyer has previously suggested Moscow would be interested in a deal that brought arms dealer Viktor Bout home as well as Konstantin Yaroshenko, a pilot convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
Author: Sebastian Hayworth