It is a moment which sets the tone of an era: the first contact between the presidents of the former enemies of the Cold War. It’s done, the new tenant of the White House Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Vladimir Poutin this Tuesday.
The opportunity to bring up the many issues that annoy, according to Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the White House.
“I will just tell you that he called President Putin this afternoon, intending to discuss his desire to extend the New START treaty for five years, to assert our firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of the ongoing aggression on the part of Russia; and also to raise issues of concern, such as the SolarWinds cyberattack, reports that Russia had put a price on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan, interference in the 2020 elections, the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and the treatment of peaceful protesters by Russian security forces“, and declined Jen Psaki.
Towards an extension of the New Start
Following the call, the lower house of the Russian parliament approved the five-year extension of the New Start nuclear weapons limitation treaty. Donald Trump’s administration refused to do so, wishing to renegotiate a more comprehensive agreement including China.
As a result of this blockage, the last Russian-American arms agreement still in force was due to expire in 10 days.
Joe Biden inherits a climate of tension rarely reached between the United States and Russia since the fall of the USSR. As often, Vladimir Poutine for his part said to support “normalization of relations“between the two countries.
Unlike Donald Trump, who had always shown his respect for his Russian counterpart, Joe Biden is committed to having a firmer stance vis-à-vis the Kremlin. “President Biden has made it clear that the United States will act decisively to defend our national interests in the face of Russian actions that would harm us or our allies.“, according to the White House in a statement.