US-Russia: Biden-Putin Meet

  • IASbaba
  • June 22, 2021
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  • GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

US-Russia: Biden-Putin Meet

Context: In March 2021, after assuming the White House, Mr. Biden described Mr. Putin as a “killer” and criticised Russia’s interference in US elections. Three months later, Biden met Putin and sought a more predictable relationship between the “two great powers”. 

West & China

  • Focus Shifted to China: Earlier NATO’s main focus was Russia now it is China. NATO members warned against the “systemic challenges to the rules-based international order” emanating from China’s rise.
  • Criticism of China’s HR record: The G7 industrialised nations has recently issued a communique slamming China’s human rights records. Issues such as the detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang, the crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, growing tensions with Taiwan was highlighted
  • Collaboration to compete better: US and EU has decided to set up a high-level trade and technology council, which would boost innovation and investment, so as to better compete with China.

Changing US- Russia dynamics

  • Ties between the US & Russia are at the lowest point since the end of the Cold War. There were allegations of Russian cyberattacks and election interference in the U.S., while Moscow is reeling under Western sanctions.
  • When Mr. Biden moves forward, focusing on China, Russia remains a distraction. 
  • As a result, US wants to reset its ties with Russia and is looking for a détente (easing of hostility). With some predictability in ties with Russia, Mr. Biden can strengthen his China-focussed foreign policy
  • The détente is also pragmatic for Russia. With a less hostile America, Mr. Putin can retain Russian influence in the country’s backyard and get relaxation from sanctions.


  • It’s too early to see any meaningful change in Russia-U.S. relations. But the Geneva summit suggests that policymakers in Washington have at least started thinking of Russia as a secondary challenge that needs to be tackled diplomatically, not only through coercion,

Connecting the dots:

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