Our Analytics 3 june — 22:52

Where is Biden, and where is Yerevan (Reflections over chessboard)



Less than two weeks are left before the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden in Geneva on June 16. No breakthrough is expected. To date, there is not even confidence that the parties will sign a joint statement following the meeting.

For a long time, I have been wary, even cautious of the expression 'a breakthrough in relations between Washington and Moscow.' I have lived for a long time, and therefore I remember that the 'historic meeting' of Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik gave rise to the loss of geopolitical positions for the Soviet Union, which ended with the collapse of the country.

After Gorbachev's meeting with Reagan in Reykjavik, the USSR began to lose geopolitical positions

No less 'historic' meeting of Boris Yeltsin with his friend Bill Clinton in Washington completely sent Russia to the category of regional powers, but at least they managed to keep nuclear weapons, otherwise they would not even sit in the UN Security Council now.

Yeltsin's meeting with friend Bill sent Russia into the category of regional powers

Well, the meeting between Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2009, at which the 'reset' was launched, turned into something embarrassingly incomprehensible, something that is still asked about: what was it?

Obama's meeting with Medvedev turned into something embarrassingly incomprehensible

We are being assured that at the meeting they will discuss 'the widest range of issues.' But here's the thing: the questions of Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden do not coincide at all. The Russian president is interested in the recognition of Moscow's rights to Crimea, a little of Ukraine, Syria and the lifting of sanctions. Biden is interested in the climate, the limitation of Russian nuclear weapons and the restoration of the global economy after the pandemic.

Even if the parties restrain themselves from mutual reproaches like 'you interfere in our elections, and you are pushing NATO to our borders,' a meaningful dialogue will not work out still. The fundamental issue for Biden is containment of China. How can Vladimir Putin help him here, if Moscow depends on Beijing even more than it might look from the outside?

Iranian nuclear program? The Russian side has no real levers of pressure on Tehran in order to soften its position, and this is a sad, albeit unpublished fact. And so on, examples can be given on at least ten pages.

Putin and Biden have not much to talk about

This absence of a real common agenda is the main tragedy of today's US-Russian relations, the main source of the conflict between Washington and Moscow.

True, if you look at the current Armenian information field, you get the feeling that the upcoming Biden-Putin summit is gathering solely for the sake of Armenia and its future. Of course, the topic of regional security in the South Caucasus, with a high degree of probability, will be discussed.

But where is Biden, and where is Armenia. Biden couldn't care less about Yerevan. The United States are preparing for the complete cancellation of Section 907 in order to remove all restrictions on the supply of arms to Azerbaijan and strive to activate the strategy of their renewed 'Silk Road.' Biden calmed his inner Armenians with the word 'genocide' and now he can deal with real-life politics with Azerbaijan with peace of mind.

Even in matters of negotiations on the deployment of the American contingent around Afghanistan (they leak info about Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), Moscow's mediation, as it was in the early 2000s, is not needed by Washington. And that's that. There is not much to talk about for the two presidents...

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