Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Having Gathered Support From the West, President Biden Heads to Geneva for the Putin Showdown

President Joe Biden flew to Geneva on Tuesday, followed by a lengthy and controversial meeting with Vladimir Putin, which was the cornerstone of his European trip and aimed to demonstrate Western unity before major summits. Biden has been consulting with other leaders, national security advisers, and political advisers for the past week, reading a lot of preparation materials, and thinking about what he would say to the Russian president when they sit in an 18th-century Swiss lake villa. 

At the G7 and NATO meetings, he discussed the upcoming summit with at least two dozen foreign leaders, from the German Chancellor to the leaders of the small Baltic States and the right-wing president of Poland. He was even questioned by Queen Elizabeth II while drinking tea at Windsor Castle. Speaking to reporters about Putin at a press conference held at NATO headquarters on Monday, Biden said: “He is very smart, he is very strong, and I find that he is a worthy opponent just like they used to say when they played. “Because Biden met with a large group of leaders eager to meet with the new American leader, they refused to disclose what he would convey to Putin in the talks scheduled to begin at noon, so the event was postponed by nearly three times. hour. 

On the contrary, he provided an outline of his information, insisting that face-to-face communication is necessary to bring a certain degree of stability to US-Russian relations. “I will make it clear to President Putin that if he wants, we can cooperate in certain areas. If he chooses not to cooperate and act in accordance with past practices in cybersecurity and other activities, then we will respond. “,He says. Before leaving Brussels, Biden held a summit with EU leaders.

Officials said the summit would focus on trade issues. Biden has not reversed the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum during the Trump era, and the amount of subsidies by the United States and the European Union for large jet manufacturers Boeing and Airbus is still in dispute. Both parties are expected to announce the settlement of the aircraft dispute. Biden is eager to rebuild transatlantic relations during his European trip this week, hoping to enter the high-risk summit where Putin appears to be united with Western allies.

This mainly comes from the support statement, but the settlement of the trade dispute is a concrete sign that he intends to normalize the traditional alliance of the United States after four years of tension. “The United States is back. We promised that we never left completely, but we reiterate the fact that it is in America’s great interest to establish good relations with NATO and the European Union,” Biden said. The beginning of the talks. . “My views are very different from those of my predecessor.” 

His message was welcomed by the host, the President of the European Council Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Lein. “The past four years have not been easy,” Von der Lein said. Officials hope to ease trade tensions before Biden and Putin meet to form a united front against Moscow. He may also discuss the Putin summit agenda with European leaders. Biden has opened the door to comments from other major allies in bilateral meetings and off-site talks in recent days.

Participants said that this idea has a dual purpose: Although Biden’s decades of foreign policy have given him confidence in his approach, he believes that the opinions of others who have had similar meetings with the Russian leader are valuable. The allies feel part of their process because he tries to convince them of his intentions because he brings them closer. According to a person familiar with the matter, this is part of a clear U.S. effort to participate in the Putin meeting after its Western allies have publicly demonstrated unity.


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