“Unequal battle”: what can Putin and Biden agree on during negotiations

The most anticipated event of the day – Russian-American talks between Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden will begin at 6 pm Moscow time. It will be 10 am in Washington. For this, Biden changed his usual schedule – he postponed the presidential security briefing an hour and a half earlier than usual. And no more activities for today. This is how the US president makes it clear: he is in the mood for a long conversation. The Kremlin announces upcoming topics, there is something to discuss, therefore no time frame is set.

“They have something to discuss in terms of the agreements that were reached at the summit in Geneva, and the work is underway. Although the relationship is not very good, we see revival in some areas, ”said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.

This is the first meeting of presidents after the summit in Genevawhich took place in June. Then no breakthrough happened, but relations between Russia and the United States at least got off the ground. Today Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden will contact via a secure channel. The Russian President will be telephoning from his residence in Sochi. A special line labeled “secret” has existed for a long time – this year this channel has already been used for negotiations between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

The line is constantly tested and maintained in operation. Journalists will be able to see the recording of only the first minutes from the beginning of the video meeting. The main part of the negotiations will be closed. The Kremlin declares that it is important for Russia to obtain guarantees that would exclude further NATO advance eastward. Military exercises have become routine – reconnaissance planes and strategic bombers cruise along the Russian borders. The White House plans to discuss a number of issues – Ukraine is one of the main topics. The conversation promises to be difficult – after Biden’s statement that he does not accept anyone’s “red lines”… Strategic stability and cyberspace are also on the agenda

“This is not about threats. It is about showing that the right way forward lies solely through diplomacy. As for financial sanctions, for us this is a way to strike a blow on the Russian economy. You can call it a threat. Or you can just take it as a fact. We talk about it publicly, and, of course, the president will say about it during the negotiations, ”said Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the White House.

The American media are also stirring up the atmosphere, circulating rumors about new tough sanctions – against Putin’s inner circle, against energy companies, Russian banks, against Russian businessmen, including travel restrictions and a ban on access to the American banking system. The most “nuclear” option is to disconnect Russia from the international payment system SWIFT.

“Firstly, it will be serious economic sanctions capable of hitting the Russian economy. Second, the US is considering sending additional weapons and military advisers to Ukraine, as well as additional troop deployments in Europe. Third, officials are also pondering disconnecting Russia from the international payment system SWIFT in case it starts an invasion, as the most extreme option, “- reports CNN.

In the United States, Biden is now under rather powerful pressure to prevent Washington from drawing closer to Moscow – he is required to increase economic pressure on Russia. True, Washington is still afraid that in response Russia may apply no less harsh measures – up to and including the cessation of energy supplies to Europe. Donald Trump has already praised the upcoming talks, calling them an unequal match. As an example – a sports parallel. Said it was like playing a professional American football team against high school students.

“Personally, I have never had any problems with Putin. We had an understanding, and I could resist him. I negotiated tactfully, but tough – no one can do that. The conversation between Putin and Biden will be an unequal battle for our country, and everyone will see it, ”Trump said.

Following the online meeting, the US President does not plan to communicate with journalists. Statements from Vladimir Putin, according to Dmitry Peskov, are also not worth waiting for. But according to Downing Street, the leaders of five Western countries – Great Britain, USA, France, Germany and Italy – have already agreed to discuss the results of the videoconference and immediately call after them.

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