Izvestia: Open dialogue between Putin and Biden required to improve bilateral relations

Mar.22, 2021

Dialogue between the Russian and US presidents in any format would be useful for bilateral relations that are seriously strained right now, politicians and experts quizzed by Izvestia note. A Russian senator told the paper that Vladimir Putin’s livestream discussion challenge to Joe Biden may inspire more substantive talks in traditional modes. So far, the US president has not responded to Putin’s offer to hold open talks, however, he assured that he would contact the Russian leader in the future. Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov was called back to Moscow from Washington to discuss the prospects in relations between the two global nuclear powers.

Given the state of bilateral relations, Moscow and Washington need to hold top-level talks, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house of parliament) Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov told Izvestia. According to the senator, in no way should the world’s two leading nuclear powers cease all communication. The Russian leader proposed holding open and live talks because it is high time the leaders had an honest conversation, the lawmaker pointed out.

“Biden will never repeat what he says behind Putin’s back to his face, because then he would have to find something to support his stance. And there’s nothing backing it up, it’s just words. Unfortunately, Biden is not ready for an open and direct dialogue. But what is the goal of his statements then? Direct confrontation? If you want peace, you shouldn’t be afraid to resolve controversial issues publicly,” Dzhabarov explained.

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Richard Weitz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Izvestia that so far that Washington has no interest in bilateral talks between the Russian and US leaders. It is not about the current confrontation, it is due to the fact that the countries have no urgent matters that require the leaders to talk, the expert explained.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has already been prolonged, and other major issues, such as Iran or North Korea, involve more sides than just Russia and the US, the analyst said. Nevertheless, the US has expressed considerable interest in dialogue with Russia at the expert and working level in bilateral and multilateral formats on certain challenges, for example, during the recent talks on the Afghanistan peace process that were held in Moscow, Weitz noted.

Published at tass.com / Izvestia