At the first call with Putin as president, Biden pushes for Navalny’s arrest


Video above: Supporters of Russian-opposition leader Alexei Navalny protest in Moscow President Joe Biden had his first conversation with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, raising fears of arresting opposition figure Alexei Navalny while pushing the Russian president to involve his nation in a massive cyber-spy campaign and reward for US troops in Afghanistan, said two senior government officials. Biden tried to pause the warm rhetoric that his predecessor, Donald Trump, often expressed to Putin. However, the new president also sought to leave room for diplomacy, telling the Russian leader that the two nations should complete a five-year renewal of the arms control treaty before it expires early next month, according to officials who knew the call. but he is not entitled to discuss it publicly. Unlike his immediate predecessors, Biden did not hold out hope for a “reset” of relations with Russia, but instead indicated that he wanted to manage differences with the former enemy of the Cold War without necessarily resolving or improving ties. And with a difficult domestic agenda and impending decisions needed for Iran and China, a direct confrontation with Russia is not something he is looking for. According to officials, Moscow turned to a call last week. Biden agreed, but first wanted to prepare with his staff and talk to European allies, including the leaders of Britain, France and Germany. And on Tuesday, before his call to Putin, he spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and promised the United States a commitment to a decade-old alliance established as a bastion against Russian aggression. Biden told Putin that his administration was assessing SolarWinds violations and press allegations that Russia had offered a Taliban bonus for killing US troops in Afghanistan. Biden said the United States was willing to defend itself and would take measures that could include further sanctions to ensure that Moscow did not act with impunity, according to officials. The result of the Kremlin’s call was not immediately available. The challenge came as Putin considered the aftermath of pro-Naval protests in more than 100 Russian cities over the weekend. Biden’s team has already responded strongly to the crackdown on more than 3,700 people across Russia, including more than 1,400 in Moscow. More protests are planned for next weekend. Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and Putin’s toughest critic, was arrested on January 17 when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from nerve poisoning in the Kremlin for nearly five months. Biden has previously condemned the use of chemical weapons. Russian authorities deny the allegations. Trump has long been in love with Putin and sought his consent, often questioning Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including standing next to Putin at their 2018 Helsinki summit. He also downplayed Russia’s involvement in hacking federal government agencies last year and allegations that Russia had offered Taliban rewards. Despite this conciliatory approach, his administration fought hard against Moscow and imposed sanctions on the country, Russian companies and business leaders, ranging from Ukraine to energy supplies and attacks on dissidents. In his call to Putin, Biden sharply broke Trump, saying he knew Russia was trying to intervene in the 2016 and 2020 elections. But he also stressed the need to extend the New START, the last remaining US-Russian arms control treaty to expire. at the beginning of February. US officials have expressed confidence in reaching an agreement that would ensure the transparency of each nation’s nuclear arsenal. Biden told reporters on Monday that he hoped the US and Russia could work together in areas where they both saw the advantage. “I have found that we can both act in the mutual interest of our countries as a new START agreement and make it clear to Russia that we are very concerned about their behavior, be it Navalny, whether it is SolarWinds or reports of rewards on American heads in Afghanistan. “Biden said. This approach has met with the approval of some former US diplomats who have dealt with Russia and looks forward to seeing Biden’s team, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his 3rd place candidate at the State Department, Victoria Nuland, delineate Russia’s contours. policy. Nuland, who held the European portfolio at the State Department during President Barack Obama’s second term, is cursed by Putin and his associates, especially for her support of pro-Western politicians in Ukraine. She and Sullivan are said to share views on how to deal with Moscow, adhering to hard lines on human rights and Russian intentions in Eastern and Central Europe, while maintaining an open channel for the Kremlin in other matters. However, their starting position is complicated, say, especially given Putin’s experience of dealing with Trump, who often undermines his administration’s hawkish attitude toward Russia through a private attempt to conceal the Russian leader. Trump was also often ill-prepared for foreign leaders’ calls, ignored employee warnings, restricted those who could listen, and especially after talks with Putin, told only a few helpers what was being discussed. “It’s hard, but it’s doable,” said Daniel Fried, the US ambassador to Poland and Deputy Secretary of State for European Affairs in the George W. Bush administration. “They will have to solve it on the fly, but it is important to strive for a New START without hesitation and push back on the Naval Arrest and other problems without guilt.” “He has to do both and not let Putin tell them.” it will not accept the New START unless it launches Navalny, SolarWinds or Afghanistan, “said Fried, who is now on the Atlantic Council. “You have to push and you can’t let Putin set the conditions.”

Video above: Supporters of Russian-opposition leader Alexei Navalny protest in Moscow

President Joe Biden had his first conversation with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, raising concerns about the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny while pushing the Russian president to involve his nation in a massive cyber-spy campaign and reward US troops in Afghanistan, two senior officials said.

Biden sought to create a sharp pause from the warm rhetoric that his predecessor, Donald Trump, often expressed to Putin. However, the new president also sought to leave room for diplomacy, telling the Russian leader that the two nations should complete a five-year renewal of the arms control treaty before it expires early next month, according to officials who knew the call. but he is not entitled to discuss it publicly.

Unlike his immediate predecessors, Biden did not hold out hope for a “reset” of relations with Russia, but instead indicated that he wanted to manage differences with the former enemy of the Cold War without necessarily resolving or improving ties. And with a difficult domestic agenda and impending decisions needed for Iran and China, a direct confrontation with Russia is not something he is looking for.

According to officials, Moscow asked for a call last week. Biden agreed, but first wanted to prepare with his staff and talk to European allies, including the leaders of Britain, France and Germany.

And on Tuesday, before his call to Putin, Biden spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, promising the United States a commitment to a decade-old alliance founded as a bastion against Russian aggression.

Biden told Putin that his administration was assessing SolarWinds violations and press allegations that Russia had offered the Taliban rewards for killing US troops in Afghanistan. Biden said the US was willing to defend itself and would take measures, which could include further sanctions, to ensure that Moscow did not act with impunity, according to administrative officials.

The reading of calls from the Kremlin was not immediately available.

The challenge came as Putin considered the aftermath of pro-Naval protests in more than 100 Russian cities over the weekend. Biden’s team has already responded strongly to the crackdown on more than 3,700 people across Russia, including more than 1,400 in Moscow. Further protests are planned for next weekend.

Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest critic, was arrested on January 17 when he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from the nerve poisoning he accused of the Kremlin for nearly five months. Biden has previously condemned the use of chemical weapons.

Russian authorities deny the allegations.

Trump has long been in love with Putin and sought his approval, often questioning Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including standing next to Putin at their summit in Helsinki in 2018. He also downplayed Russia’s involvement in hacking federal government agencies last year, and allegations that Russia offered Taliban rewards.

Despite this conciliatory approach, his administration took a hard line against Moscow and imposed sanctions on the country, Russian companies and business leaders on issues ranging from Ukraine to energy supplies and attacks on dissidents.

In his call to Putin, Biden sharply broke Trump, saying he knew Russia had tried to intervene in the 2016 and 2020 elections. But he also stressed the need to extend New START, the last remaining US-Russian arms control treaty to expire. at the beginning of February. US officials have expressed confidence in reaching an agreement that would ensure the transparency of each nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Biden told reporters on Monday that he hopes the US and Russia can work together in areas where they both see benefits.

“I have found that we can both function in the mutual interest of our countries as a new START agreement, and I make it clear to Russia that we are very concerned about their behavior, whether it is Navalny, whether it is SolarWinds or reports of rewards on American heads in Afghanistan, “Biden said.

Biden’s approach met with the approval of some former US diplomats who have dealt with Russia and look forward to seeing Biden’s team, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his nominee, who is to be third in State Department Victoria Nuland, outline Russian policy.

Nuland, who held the European portfolio at the State Department during President Barack Obama’s second term, is particularly enthusiastic about Putin and his colleagues for her support for pro-Western politicians in Ukraine. She and Sullivan are said to share views on how to deal with Moscow, adhering to hard lines on human rights and Russian intentions in Eastern and Central Europe, while maintaining an open channel for the Kremlin in other matters.

However, their starting position is complicated, especially given Putin’s experience of dealing with Trump, who often undermines the hawkish attitude of his administration to Russia in a private attempt to conceal the Russian leader. Trump was also often ill-prepared for foreign leaders’ calls, ignored employee warnings, restricted those who could listen, and especially after talks with Putin, told only a few helpers what was being discussed.

“It’s hard, but it’s possible,” said Daniel Fried, the US ambassador to Poland and Deputy Secretary of State for European Affairs in George W. Bush’s government. “They will have to solve it on the fly, but it is important to strive for a New START without hesitation and without guilt to push for Naval Arrest and other problems.”

“He has to do both and not let Putin tell them he won’t accept the New START unless he fires Navalny, SolarWinds or Afghanistan,” said Fried, who is now on the Atlantic Council. “You have to push and you can’t let Putin set the conditions.”


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