“It seems that Biden still believes that he can change Putin’s mind.”

Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden held talks in the format of a video summit. They talked for over two hours and devoted most of their time to the Ukrainian issue. However, they did not agree on anything specific. What the foreign media wrote about this is in the compilation of Kommersant.

Mr. Biden is working in tandem with other NATO members to defuse tensions in Eastern Europe. The Russian invasion of Ukraine could be one of the most significant military acts in Europe since the end of the Cold War, posing a security threat to the European Union, Western European powers and NATO.

Ukraine has become the epicenter of deteriorating ties between Russia and the United States after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and provided support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Recently, tensions have reached a boiling point, political analysts say. Mr Putin believes that Russia has historical territorial claims to Ukraine, and believes that any NATO allies’ support for the Ukrainian pro-Western government is a direct challenge to such claims.


It is too early to say whether the long-awaited negotiations will relieve the tension around Ukraine, near whose borders Russia has concentrated troops of 70 thousand people, and the forces are still coming. The details of the talks are difficult to parse, as both the White House and the Kremlin present them in a favorable light.

Mr Putin has shown no real intentions, US officials said, leaving the world to wonder if he really planned an invasion earlier in the year or if he was trying to draw Western attention to his demands by fabricating a crisis.

In recent days, US officials have stated that the US Treasury is working with European allies to compile a list of potential sanctions. This can be both blocking the access of Russian companies to international capital markets, and financial sanctions for the Russian elite, especially the oligarchs, who contribute to the financing and support of Mr. Putin.

The summit fueled a sense of a return to East-West politics during the Cold War, as NATO’s strategy to deter invasion from the former Soviet Union and Moscow struggles to find respect and respect for itself. But Ukraine’s independence, which it achieved after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is under threat, and Mr. Putin describes this collapse as the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.


Der Spiegel (Hamburg, Germany)

The Russian and American presidents sat for almost two hours at their first virtual meeting and, of course, first of all discussed one topic: the threatening deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine … Obviously, there was no real breakthrough at the meeting. And then there is the risk that Russia could fulfill the threat and invade Ukraine. But at least they talked to each other.

Putin secured a meeting with Biden, fueling fear of war. Uncertainty reigns over what Putin is actually going to do. The virtual meeting is also an attempt to reduce tensions slightly and avoid further escalation of the conflict. Biden’s attention is focused on US domestic politics and the confrontation with China, and now he does not need a crisis in Eastern Europe at all. If Russia does attack, Biden will be in the same situation as Obama in 2014 during the Russian invasion of Crimea.


The Times (London, United Kingdom)

Threats from the President of the United States of serious economic sanctions may be enough to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. But this is not enough to end the conflict. Yesterday Joe Biden adhered to an uncompromising tone in his conversation with Vladimir Putin … It was the right message.

What has become the toughest foreign policy test of Mr Biden’s presidency since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan is at stake, not only the fate of Ukraine, which could face the threat of Russian invasion of its borders. At stake is European security, deeply destabilized by a war that would inevitably displace millions of Ukrainians. More broadly, a Russian attack on Ukraine would end the post-war rule-based system, heralding a return to an anarchic world order.

It is difficult to say whether such an attack is the real goal of Mr Putin …

At the same time, Mr. Putin has no illusion that the invasion will have a very high price … (At some point. – “B”) it became clear that at the heart of Mr Putin’s hostility lies the fear that a successful and independent Ukraine poses an existential risk to his own authoritarian regime.

Regardless of how many opponents Mr Putin jails, as long as Ukraine continues to resist Russian interference and remains democratic and free, it runs counter to Mr Putin’s far-fetched anti-historical claims that Western liberal values ​​are unsuitable for Russian society. From the Kremlin’s point of view, this is difficult to tolerate.


The Independent (London, United Kingdom)

War is in the air … The declared annexation of Crimea and the undeclared partial occupation of Eastern Ukraine and Donbass leave little doubt about the ill will of Russian plans for a free and independent sovereign state of Ukraine …

Vladimir Putin would have liked very little more than the return of Ukraine to the orbit of the Russian Federation. This would please the patriotic, but in a difficult situation, the Russian people and would strengthen them (Vladimir Putin.— “B”) claims to be the heir to the tsars and Joseph Stalin.

If Putin thought it would go unpunished, he would have invaded Ukraine that very morning.

The extent to which he believes that he can get away with such a blatant act of armed aggression directly depends on Vladimir Putin’s perception of the degree of Western resistance … All the lessons of the Cold War show that the demonstration of collective power (NATO countries. “B”) prevents rather than incites war. Without this, Putin will feel weakness (of the opposite side – “B”).


During a lengthy videoconference, the American president threatened the Kremlin head with harsh sanctions, spoke of transatlantic unity and tried to convince with arguments. But Putin is unlikely to understand Biden’s logic in the conflict over Ukraine. Ukraine is far from the US borders … In the case of Ukraine, he (Biden.— “B”) can now prove how important it is for him to defend freedom … It seems that Biden still believes that he can convince Putin with his logic with the help of good arguments …

However, in the worldview of the Kremlin head, there is no place for Ukraine’s right to self-determination. Putin has spoken about this many times.

Therefore, in this conflict, Biden must be able to create as plausible and terrifying a threat to Moscow as possible.

Most experts continue to believe that the Kremlin leader is not really plotting a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, but with his threats he wants to force Biden to make concessions … Nevertheless, Biden needs to think carefully about what he is ready to do if Putin, as has happened before, is not afraid economic sanctions alone.

Prepared by Yana Rozhdestvenskaya, Evgeniy Khvostik

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