Within days of his settling into his presidential power, Joe Biden went into his first phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the further relationship of the United States and Russia.
According to White House officials, Moscow had previously requested to engage a call with Biden. But the new U.S President wanted to have a pre hand discussion with his staff and European allies before answering the call.
Biden On His First Call With Putin: Expectations Of A Peaceful Bond
During the call, the Biden administration discussed their concerns involving Russia’s Opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the Russian government’s actions regarding cyber espionage.
Navalny is also an anti-corruption activist and is said to be the most feared person by Vladimir Putin.
The call took place as Putin wanted to discuss the Navalny protests that occurred in over 100 Russian cities on the weekend.
The Biden administration had previously reacted to these protests where over 3400 people were arrested in Russia and 1400 in Moscow with further protests planned for the weekend.
Biden and Putin have agreed on their teams to start action in order to extend the last remaining U.S-Russian arms control treaty known as New START before it expires next month.
Unlike the former President Donald Trump, Biden is expecting to manage peaceful relations between the United States and Russia.
During the call, Biden addressed his administration’s assessment of the Solar Winds breach and the Russian reports offered to the Taliban to kill the American soldiers in Afghanistan.
He also stated that America will be taking the required defense measures in order to ensure that Moscow doesn’t commit any act of impunity.
A readout of the call by the Moscow Kremlin described the discussion as formal. It also stated that Putin gave his congratulatory wishes to Biden upon his presidential victory and stated that friendly relations between the two nations can result in future prospects for both.
They further discussed the global pandemic, trade, and economic issues along with the Iran nuclear agreement.
After the call, Biden stated to the reporters that he expects U.S and Russia to have a mutual understanding and develop a peaceful bond.
He also said that America would be closely observing Russia’s moves be it regarding Navalny, American soldiers in Afghanistan, or the SolarWinds.
The former U.S Diplomats commented on Biden’s decision stating that they will be looking to see how it works out.
Biden’s State Department nominees said that it will be initially difficult to negotiate with Moscow considering the fact that Trump himself had tried to team up with Putin at the cost of his own administration.
Also, Trump frequently declined calls with other foreign leaders, refused to listen to his own staff, and provided very little details of any of his discussions with Russia.
Poland’s U.S Ambassador and European Affairs State Assistant Secretary for George Bush administration, Daniel Fried stated that the journey will be difficult and that the New START must be revived as soon as possible.