Category: Joe Biden
Pandemic Shows China Bests US
worker | August 8, 2021 | 7:08 pm | China, COVID-19, Joe Biden | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202108071083550081-pandemic-shows-china-bests-us/

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The starkly different impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on China and the United States is glaring proof of which political system is most capable of delivering for the common good of people.

Nearly one and half years since the global pandemic erupted, the total number of deaths in China from the disease stands at about 4,600. In the United States, the death toll is over 630,000 and rising.

China’s deaths from Covid-19 are less than 1 percent of those in the US. What is even more remarkable is that China has a total population of 1.4 billion people which is four times that of the United States.

Any objective person looking at the data would therefore have to conclude that there is something hugely significant about the relative performances of the governing systems in both countries. Empirically, in managing a massive public health crisis, China has wiped the floor with the US.

A person holds a placard as protesters temporarily block the street to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) house with a live band on a flatbed truck, demanding the extension of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related unemployment aid, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 22, 2020
JONATHAN ERNST
A person holds a placard as protesters temporarily block the street to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) house with a live band on a flatbed truck, demanding the extension of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related unemployment aid, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 22, 2020

The pandemic is a tragic demonstration of China’s superiority over the US in terms of governance for the common good. Some critics may dispute if China has a socialist system. China claims it does. In any case, its system has strong elements of socialism: central planning, public ownership and state provision of services, in particular healthcare.

These characteristics have ensured that China’s response to the pandemic has minimised the deaths and infirmities. This was evident from the early weeks of the pandemic when the Beijing government implemented rapid lockdowns and rigorous tracing methods to contain the disease.

Again, this can be seen currently in the way China is mobilising resources to contain deadly new variants of the virus. The lockdowns, tracing, isolation and mask-wearing are proven to be effective in defeating the virus. But that response is made possible because China’s government provides the financial and material resources to help the public cooperate. Free accommodation, food and other essentials are generously supplied to families so that they can comply with onerous restrictions.

By contrast, the United States is witnessing a non-stop disaster. There, the capitalist, oligarchic system completely disincentives public cooperation to help beat the pandemic. Yes, there have been some government handouts to workers and the unemployed.

Syringes with the Pfizer-BioNTec  vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sit on the table at the Victor Walchirk Apartments in Evanston, Illinois, U.S. February 22, 2021
© REUTERS / KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI
Syringes with the Pfizer-BioNTec vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sit on the table at the Victor Walchirk Apartments in Evanston, Illinois, U.S. February 22, 2021

But the response is paltry. By and large, working Americans can’t afford isolation and lockdowns because they are expected to bear the costs, which in a profit-above-all system does not make it feasible to implement an effective strategy to contain the disease.

Despite the resurgence of infections and deaths from the new Delta variant of the virus, the Biden administration and many state governments are rushing to end lockdowns and the wearing of masks. They are in denial. Why? Because the American capitalist system cannot tolerate an effective public health strategy. That fundamental contradiction is driving the country in the wrong direction in terms of defeating the pandemic. The deaths, sickness, infections, social impact will only get worse.

There is another factor: the basic wrongheadedness of American political culture. The vastly overrated importance of “individual freedom” feeds into an irrational mentality whereby many Americans think it is their “duty” to distrust concepts like collective action, public good, and even scientific evidence that there is a deadly disease that needs to be managed.

There are a lot of US politicians and citizens who are frankly deluded and deranged. To the point where they think wearing masks is a communist conspiracy to oppress them. No wonder the pandemic is hanging over the United States like doomsday when so many of its people refuse to get vaccinated or wear masks.

U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions about the pace of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations during remarks at the White House in Washington
© REUTERS / EVELYN HOCKSTEIN
U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions about the pace of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations during remarks at the White House in Washington

In China, not only is its avowed socialist system proven to be magnitudes more efficient and effective, the people themselves still retain a sense of rationality and common humanity. Chinese people trust their government and willingly comply with lockdowns and basic measures like wearing masks in public.

The world is facing many other challenges: climate change and poverty are top of the list. The only way of overcoming these existential dangers is with a planned system that is rational about providing for the common good of people.

The Covid-19 pandemic proves that China has a system for the future. The United States is a system that has had its day. It’s over and out.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

China Target in US Nord Stream ‘Deal’
worker | July 23, 2021 | 7:44 pm | Analysis, Germany, Joe Biden, Russia | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202107221083438918-china-target-in-us-nord-stream-deal/

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There is so much misdirection over the big news this week that the US finally reached a “deal” with Germany to allow the Nord Stream 2 gas project to go ahead.

This is the mega pipeline under the Baltic Sea supplying Germany and the rest of Europe with natural gas from Russia. The project had been stalled by American sanctions, but now the Biden administration has announced that it will no longer stand in the way of its completion.

President Joe Biden knew well that there was no way of stopping Nord Stream 2 whose 1,230-kilometer construction route from Russia to Germany is over 95 percent complete. Berlin has repeatedly told Washington that it would not cancel the project which will double the flow of clean, economical Russian gas to fuel Germany’s industries and households.

So Biden had enough cop-on to know that the United States would only look pathetically weak when its imperious demands on Berlin were eventually snubbed.

 

Hence the spin this week that Washington had come up with a “deal” with Germany to let Nord Stream 2 proceed. In that supposed compromise, Berlin is obliged to provide financial aid to Ukraine and assure Kiev that Russia will not be allowed to use energy trade as a weapon against Ukraine by reducing an existing overland transit route for gas. This is more misdirection. 

Russia has condemned the politicization of the Nord Stream 2 project as anything other than a commercial transaction that benefits Europe. Moscow rejects the slur that it is weaponizing energy trade to allegedly threaten Ukraine. Such hysteria is just Washington’s propaganda to justify its own egregious interference and bullying in European-Russian affairs.

In any case, the real story behind the Nord Stream 2 “deal” this week is not Russia or Ukraine. It is China.

In announcing Washington’s “concession”, the State Department said the rationale was that the United States did not want to “alienate” Germany.

However, the Americans did not specify what the risk of alienation was about exactly. We can fill in the gap. It is about Washington keeping Germany and the rest of Europe in line for its bigger geopolitical objective of confronting and undermining China.

Russia and China are both fingered as “great power rivals” by numerous American politicians and pundits.

But the Biden administration has signaled that it considers China as the “top long-term threat” to US national security. The “threat” has less to do with military power and more to do with China’s global economic power. Beijing’s increasing global economic integration through its Belt and Road Initiative is perceived by the Washington establishment as the death knell for American dominance. US global power relies on unilateral hegemony. China’s advocacy of multipolar relations, mutual partnerships between nations and people-centered development is the nemesis of American imperial power.

Unlike the boorish Trump, the Biden presidency is more in tune with American imperial planners and the need to work with European allies to form a stronger front for pursuing US imperial objectives. Biden and his aides have been at pains to repair the transatlantic alliance that Trump damaged with his abrupt “America First” vulgarism.

In taking down China as a global rival, Washington knows it has to smooth out relations with Germany and the rest of Europe.

That is why the Biden administration appears to be making a concession over the Nord Stream 2 project. It knows that the gas trade with Russia is inviolable for Germany’s vital interests. So it offers a “concession”. But the real move is to recruit Germany and Europe into taking a tougher stance towards China.

It is no coincidence that this week also saw the US establishment ramping up hostility towards China by labeling the government in Beijing as complicit in global cyber hacking and espionage. The State Department called on “our partners and allies to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, counter cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism.” In other words, to join US efforts to demonize China.

Nevertheless, here’s the rub. China has become Germany’s largest trade partner, surpassing the United States. China is far more important than the US for sustaining Germany’s export-led economy. Arguably, maintaining relations with Beijing is as vital to Berlin as the gas from Russia is for Germany’s long-term development.

Washington may think it is able to corral and hoodwink Berlin into an anti-China front. But the arrogant Americans will get hit with reality. Their days of bullying others are over.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

‘Save our democracy’: Texas Democrats RUN AWAY to Washington in bid to block state voter reform
worker | July 13, 2021 | 7:32 pm | Joe Biden, Local/State, Struggle for African American equality | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/usa/529034-texas-democrats-voting-bill-washington/

‘Save our democracy’: Texas Democrats RUN AWAY to Washington in bid to block state voter reform

‘Save our democracy’: Texas Democrats RUN AWAY to Washington in bid to block state voter reform

“My Democratic colleagues and I are leaving the state to break quorum and kill the Texas voter suppression bill,” James Talarico, who represents District 52 in the state House, tweeted on Monday afternoon. “We’re flying to DC to demand Congress pass the For The People Act and save our democracy.”

In a statement, the party said it was “once again making history” by walking out to break the quorum “in defense of voting rights.” Democrats seek to block “anti-voter bills” HB3 and SB1, which are supposed to be considered in the special session called by Governor Greg Abbott.

Described by the Republicans as “relating to election integrity and security, including by preventing fraud in the conduct of elections,” the proposed bills would require identification for voting by mail, prohibit unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, criminalize interference with election observers, and ban drive-through voting. Some or all of the measures that would be prohibited were introduced by Democrat jurisdictions last year, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Democrats have argued the proposals amount to “suppression” of their voters, who they say are disproportionately minorities. Republicans say they are intended to prevent voter fraud. Both have pointed to the case of Hervis Rogers, a convicted felon who was recently arrested and charged with illegally voting while he was on parole.

ALSO ON RT.COMTexas man who famously waited hours to vote in Democratic primary faces up to 40yrs in prison for illegal votingA KXAS-TV reporter shared online photos he was sent by one of the Democrats, showing the lawmakers on a bus to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and then inside the charter plane they were taking to Washington.

The photos showed cheerful Democrats smiling and flashing signs – and not wearing face masks, in apparent violation of a Biden administration mandate, which did not go unnoticed.

One of the photos from the bus showed the lawmakers bringing along a case of beer, for which they were mocked by a spokesman for the Republican speaker of the house.

Democrats walked out “in an attempt to stall election integrity legislation,” Speaker Dade Phelan said in a statement, saying that the move will “put at risk state funding that will deny thousands of hard-working staff members and their families a paycheck, health benefits, and retirement investment so that legislators who broke quorum can flee to Washington, DC in private jets.” 

The House “will use every available resource under the Texas Constitution and the unanimously passed House Rules to secure a quorum,” Phelan added. The last time Democrats left the state – crossing into Oklahoma in 2003 – state troopers were sent to detain them.

While this isn’t the first Democrat walkout, it is the first time they’ve gone all the way to Washington. Appealing to the federal capital fits into the overall strategy of the party to try and to pass federal election legislation, which would make many of 2020’s improvised rules permanent.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak on the topic in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is fundraising off the Texas stunt, urging Americans to donate to the Democrats in “the fight to protect and expand the right to vote.” Ironically, on Sunday she argued that “our democracy is stronger when everyone participates” – but apparently referred to elections, not state legislature sessions.

A number of US states run by Republicans have moved to pass laws regulating election procedures, after a number of new practices were rolled out in 2020 citing the Covid-19 pandemic. GOP lawmakers call them voter integrity laws, while Democrats claim they are voter suppression, and also racist. Biden’s Department of Justice last month sued Georgia over its voter reform bill, alleging much of it was “racially motivated.”

ALSO ON RT.COMBiden DOJ sues Georgia over ‘racist’ voting law, says it will prosecute ‘threats’ against election workers US-wideThink your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Biden Signs ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day Act’ Into Law
worker | June 22, 2021 | 8:33 pm | Joe Biden | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/us/202106171083177538-biden-signs-juneteenth-national-independence-day-act-into-law-/

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While the White House is just now recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday, June 19 has historically been observed nationwide as a day to commemorate the emancipation of African American victims of chattel slavery in the United States.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” officially establishing Juneteenth – June 19 – as a federal holiday in the US.

“I regret that my grandchildren aren’t here, because this is a really, really, really important moment in our history,” Biden said prior to signing the bill into law.

The June 19 holiday, aptly dubbed ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day,’ comes as the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 17 – was established in 1983.

Juneteenth has remained a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved Africans in the US since 1865, when Union soldiers under General Gordon Granger delivered General Order Number 3 to Galveston, Texas.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” the order read. “This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

The move came about after the Emancipation Proclamation, and ended the legal practice of slavery in the state of Texas.

“Juneteenth marks both a long, hard night of slavery and a promise of a brighter morning to come,” Biden remarked during the signing event, proclaiming “great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments.”

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden announced on Twitter that she was “so proud” of her husband’s action.

Prior to reaching Biden’s desk, the bill unanimously passed in the US Senate, but encountered pushback from 14 Republicans in the US House of Representatives.

Many of those against making Juneteenth a federal holiday are lawmakers representing southern states, including Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

Brooks asserted in a recent statement that his ‘no’ vote was not in opposition of the commemoration of the freeing of enslaved Africans in the US.

“The day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, or the days the 13th, 14th or 15th amendments were passed, or the end of the Civil War would be more appropriate,” said a spokesperson for the US representative from Alabama.

“He would also prefer that another federal holiday be eliminated to offset the $1 billion price tag associated with giving federal workers the day off,” the spokesperson added.

Due to Juneteenth falling on a Saturday this year, federal employees will receive paid time off for Friday, June 18, this year, according to the US Office of Personnel Management. Government offices will also be closed for the day.

US, EU Blind Leading Blind
worker | June 22, 2021 | 8:30 pm | Joe Biden | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202106161083164166-us-eu-blind-leading-blind/

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US President Joe Biden prepared for his summit with Vladimir Putin by first meeting EU heads to sound out their views on how to engage the Russian leader.

Biden reportedly had private talks with European counterparts during the G7 gathering in England last weekend, then with NATO members in Brussels, followed by the heads of the European Union the day before he flew to Geneva for a landmark summit with Putin.

After his confab with EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, it was agreed that the Americans and Europeans would continue to have high-level discussions to “better coordinate policy and actions” towards Russia.

“We stand united in our principled approach towards Russia and we are ready to respond decisively to its repeating pattern of negative behavior and harmful activities, which Russia must address to prevent the further deterioration of relations,” it was declared.

This is tantamount to the blind leading the blind with regard to relations with Russia. The Americans consulting with Europe, and vice versa is a dead-end or maybe even a path to the abyss.

Both of them are hopelessly misinformed by ignorance, bigotry and Russophobia for either of them to find a workable relation with Russia. What chance therefore of formulating realistic policy and actions that could lead to normalizing relations? If anything, their negative mindsets will only compound problems.

Let’s go back to the declaration cited above. The American and European leaders assertively accuse Russia of “its repeating pattern of negative behavior and harmful activities, which Russia must address to prevent the further deterioration of relations”.

What “negative behavior” are they referring to?

Interference in American and European elections? There’s absolutely no proof for that and it’s based on ropey politicized intelligence and innuendo. Listening to Western politicians and media, however, the ropey speculation is cited as an article of faith. That’s indoctrination, not reasonable thinking. Russia has consistently and vehemently rejected the claims as “unfounded”.

Annexation of Crimea? The Crimean people voted to join the Russian Federation in a legally held referendum in March 2014 after the US and EU backed a coup d’état in Kiev ushering Neo-Nazis into power. Crimea has centuries of shared Russian history and culture. Ignorance of Western politicians and media cannot erase that.

 

Aggression towards Ukraine? The Kiev regime armed by the United States and NATO is shelling the ethnic Russian population of Eastern Ukraine in violation of a ceasefire and the 2015 Minsk accord. Russian military buildup and maneuvers are conducted within its own sovereign territory while NATO forces encroach near Russia’s borders. 

Supporting a dictator in Syria? Russia stopped a criminal covert war of aggression by NATO powers using terrorist proxies to overthrow an elected president, Bashar al-Assad, who has since been re-elected by Syrians freely and fairly. Russia defended a sovereign nation. The Western powers attacked it covertly and continue to impose crippling sanctions on Syria preventing its reconstruction from war.

Influence operations to undermine Western democracy? You mean entirely legitimate influence by Russian news media which gives a fresh perspective on international events to Western audiences in such a way as to expose Western government propaganda lies? Oh, yes, that kind of influence is indeed destabilizing… destabilizing Western government deception and duplicity.

Poisoning Alexei Navalny? The blogger is a convicted embezzler who has a history of staging provocations in collusion with Western intelligence agencies. Where is the proof that he was poisoned? It’s just ridiculous hearsay repeated over and over using the Big Lie technique.

The contemptible thing is this: if you believe the above accusatory claims and much more besides, then how is it possible for Russia to “change its behavior to prevent further deterioration of relations”? How is Russia able to convince certain ideologically twisted people who have been instilled with delusions and falsehoods that it “has changed”?

 

The problem is not Russia or its alleged malign conduct. The problem is the false perception and brainwashed bigotry that resides in Western leaders and media. 

That would explain the schizoid, contradictory position of the United States and Europe toward Russia (and indeed toward China too).

The Western powers are held hostage mentally by their own pejorative propaganda. Their politicians are infected with ideological constructs demonizing Russia. Therefore, they literally can’t think straight or rationally when it comes to formulating policy and relations with Russia (or China).

On one hand, Joe Biden and his European allies talk about holding dialogue with Russia to work on areas of common interest. While on the other hand, they talk about confronting Russia and holding it to account… based on false allegations.

The Americans and Europeans are approaching Russia (and China) based on blind ignorance and the blind arrogance that stems from that. It’s not possible to have productive, normal relations based on blindness. The Americans and Europeans are going to tumble over themselves in pursuing a futile, wasteful dead-end policy. At worse, they could stumble the rest of the world into a catastrophic war.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Putin rebukes media for negative portrayal of Biden, says US president is actually ‘collected, professional & skillful’
worker | June 21, 2021 | 7:54 pm | Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/russia/526858-putin-media-biden-portrayal/

Putin rebukes media for negative portrayal of Biden, says US president is actually ‘collected, professional & skillful’

Putin rebukes media for negative portrayal of Biden, says US president is actually ‘collected, professional & skillful'
The media image of US President Joe Biden has “nothing to do with reality,” with the American leader being a complete “professional.” That’s according to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, speaking a day after the two met.

Speaking at an online conference with high school graduates, Putin complimented Biden as skillful, lively, and thoroughly knowledgeable about all subject matters, noting that he is focused on what he wants to achieve.

“The image of President Biden which the Russian and even American media paint has nothing to do with reality,” Putin explained. “Biden is a professional. You have to work with him very carefully so as not to miss anything. I can assure you, he doesn’t miss a thing.”

In recent times, Russian media has presented Biden as too old for the job, with some pointing at his verbal gaffes and occasional falls and trips.

“He’s collected. He understands what he wants to achieve. And he does it very skillfully. You can feel it right away,” he said.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘I hope our meeting will be productive’: Putin & Biden share handshake, photo-op and optimistic words before high-stakes summitPutin’s positive comments come after Biden was generally complimentary of the Russian president, noting that he believes there is a “genuine prospect to significantly improve relations between our two countries.”

The two leaders met on Wednesday in the Swiss city of Geneva, in what was their first meeting since Biden’s January inauguration. The summit was held at Villa La Grange, a historic 18th-century villa with a beautiful view of Lake Geneva. Before the start of discussions, Putin thanked his American counterpart for taking the initiative to arrange a meeting, underscoring that “Russia and US relations have a lot of issues accumulated.”

Following the encounter, the two leaders adopted a joint statement on strategic stability and agreed on their ambassadors’ return and continued consultations on the future of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START III).

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Biden-Putin meeting shows Russia-US relations are set for a return to the Cold War-era. Strangely, that might be an improvement
worker | June 21, 2021 | 7:36 pm | Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/russia/526832-geneva-summit-cold-era-improvemernt/

Biden-Putin meeting shows Russia-US relations are set for a return to the Cold War-era. Strangely, that might be an improvement

Biden-Putin meeting shows Russia-US relations are set for a return to the Cold War-era. Strangely, that might be an improvement
The long-anticipated summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, was, a total, if modest, success. Aside from the hype, it achieved its goals of cooling tensions after years of circus antics.

While the fears were originally bigger than the hopes, the worst possible outcomes failed to materialize, and the summit served its purpose of getting Moscow and Washington to sit down and do business. Both leaders signed up to a well-polished joint statement that denounced nuclear war and signaled their determination to formulate new principles underpinning strategic stability and cybersecurity.

What’s more, their respective ambassadors are finally returning to their posts – a positive sign, if even only a symbolic gesture of goodwill. In reality, no matter how hard foreign diplomatic missions work or how many people they employ, they can rarely if ever tip the scale when there is no political will at the top.

Judging by what the presidents said though, they covered a lot of ground in the brief, yet rather substantive, meeting. Now, they may well end up striking a deal or two – like the spy swaps in the good old days of the Soviet Union – but any such arrangement would be an isolated case with no lasting effect on bilateral relations.

ALSO ON RT.COMThe Biden-Putin summit is a chance to strike a blow for peace & stability – if Washington can leave domestic politics at the doorIn general, the talks in Geneva left a positive impression because they resembled classic summit meetings. The exchanges were intensive and serious, with an understanding of real constraints, and without the ideological prejudice that we’ve all become used to over the last couple of decades. The drumbeat of rhetoric in the distance is a necessary backdrop, but the top figures do not really focus on the noise.

The outcome of the summit does not guarantee anything will change in the long term, as improving relations alone was simply not on the agenda. However, potentially introducing clear rules into our ongoing game of confrontation to control our respective nuclear capabilities would make a difference, not so much bilaterally but globally.

The United States is not the main global concern for Russia, and nor is Moscow the chief problem for Washington – unlike in the previous Cold War. However, the nature of their relationship impacts each other’s ties with more significant partners. The Geneva summit is a chance for both nations to reconsider the way they work internationally.

Biden’s foreign policy is actually quite straightforward. Apparently, it will prioritize efforts to recreate the political alliance of ‘the West’ like it was in the Cold War, to contain and slow down China, and to engage in a limited way in regional conflicts where the US can, if possible, rely on local partners, rather than play the lead itself. Replacing the ‘global leadership’ slogan with ‘America’s return’ is a smart move that gives Washington much more flexibility than before since there is no clear idea in what capacity it is back in the global arena.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘A good day for Russia’: Former US President Trump blasts successor Biden after Putin summit, citing waivers for Nord Stream-2Russia’s priorities are also changing, and the shift is obvious to unbiased minds, hard as they are to come by in the West. The movement is a recent trend and it is unclear what its goals will end up looking like. While the US is betting on the old strategy of consolidating the West against a deliberately constructed authoritarian threat, Russia has to double-check its options and reconsider the institutions and tools for use in its foreign policy.

In the previous years and even decades, Moscow has pushed for new institutions that would help establish the multipolar world. This concept has defined political and diplomatic practice since the mid-1990s, and it marked Russia’s defensive response to the decline of its international status after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Multipolarity implied opposing hegemony but it did not create a clear slot for Russia to occupy in the new world order.

When international pluralism ultimately emerged, it confused things even further. With the new powerhouses of varying clout, the global landscape evolved rather quickly, turning foreign policy into rocket science. The globalization crisis affected both old and new institutions and arrangements, including those that were created by Russia from the nineties to the mid-2010s. Today, amid the drive toward re-nationalization of world affairs catalyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of intergovernmental organizations is up in the air, with countries eyeing the advantages of flying solo.

Russia and the US are both facing the same challenge. They have to recalibrate their objectives and approaches to match the new global realities. Ironically, going back to a classic Cold War relationship seems to be more helpful for this task. Both sides seem to be familiar with this time-tested practice, and the format may well suit them best. This is the key takeaway from the Geneva summit.

ALSO ON RT.COMStill ‘no reason’ to remove US from Russia’s list of ‘unfriendly countries’, despite cordial Putin-Biden summit, says KremlinHowever, the catch is that today’s political cycles are measured not in decades but years, if not even months. Make no mistake, any arrangements that create the kind of strategic stability of the Cold War will be unlikely to last as long the second time around.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.