The proposed meeting comes at a time in which ロシア is likely behind significant cyberattacks against the U.S. infrastructure and while Putin’s opponents are being suppressed.
Putin’s meeting with the leader of the free world lends him legitimacy, while Russians dedicated to freedom in Russia are being oppressed. プーチン‘s principal political opponent, Alexei Navalny has been falsely imprisoned and is likely to be murdered through ill-treatment in a labor camp. Putin is all about sending messages to opponents.
Putin’s assassinations and attempted assassinations of his opponents are well-documented, such as the poison attacks on Russian emigres in the United Kingdom. There have been assassinations of Putin’s opponents in Austria and Germany and in Russia itself.
Putin’s message is that his political opponents are not safe anywhere. Biden himself acknowledged Putin as a “killer,” which did much to delegitimize Putin’s authoritarian rule. Now Biden proposes to meet with him as an equal. While Biden offers a desire to travel to Europe to visit allies and rally them against “authoritarianism,” the Putin summit will accomplish the exact opposite.
No strategy has been offered for this summit other than Biden’s desire to restore “stability and predictability” to U.S.-Russian relations. But if Biden performs as he usually does – giving something and receiving nothing in return, as he did in extending the New START treaty on Russian terms – U.S. leadership will, 再び, be undermined, 我ら. efforts against “authoritarianism” weakened and Putin strengthened in both the eyes of our allies and those of the Russian people who are otherwise growing tired of his dictatorship.
Putin’s foreign policy is based on aggression. Russia either occupies or supports insurgencies in a number of European states that seek independence from Russian domination. Russia presently occupies parts of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and lends its support to Alexander Lukashenko, illegitimate president of Belarus. Russia has failed to condemn Lukashenko’s hijacking of a Ryanair commercial flight that was forced down by a Belarus air force jet. A journalist on that flight who had been critical of Lukashenko was arrested and remains a prisoner, as are other Belarusian opposition leaders.
Ukrainian independence remains in my view the hinge on which Europe’s future turns. The development of democracy in Ukraine cannot be successful while it is under Russia’s thumb.
By meeting with Putin before meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden sends a message that relations with the Russian leader are more important than Ukrainian safety and sovereignty. That message will likely encourage further Russian aggression against Ukraine, which Russia has sought to undermine since it annexed Crimea in 2014.
Putin’s military forces on the Ukrainian border emphasize that he believes he has gotten away with his aggression against Ukraine. By failing to sanction Putin’s cyberattacks on the West Biden’s meeting with him confirms that “all is forgiven,” and Russia will pay no penalty for its continuing aggression.