Biden wants Russia’s cooperation. But Putin thrives on chaos.
This meeting, the administration says, is designed to put the relationship between the two countries “on a more stable, predictable path.” Yet, despite repeated statements from the Kremlin that it is open to normalization, progress on arms control and cooperation on issues of mutual interest, it has yet to take a single step that would demonstrate any commitment to these goals. In fact, Putin thrives on chaos.
Over the past five months, Putin’s long-standing disregard of international norms has only intensified. He has arrested and imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny — and has now outlawed Navalny’s organization, a clear rebuff of Biden right before the summit. He has launched a new wave of crackdowns on opposition politicians and media within Russia in the lead-up to fall elections, and Russia has been implicated in both the 2014 bombings of weapons storage sites in the Czech Republic and a spying scandal in Bulgaria. Putin’s support has also sustained human rights abuser and airline hijacker Alexander Lukashenko in power in Belarus.
Just two months ago, Russia amassed more than 100,000 troops on …
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