On June 16, at 6:30 PM Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club conference hall hosted a discussion dedicated to the summit meeting of Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden in Geneva. The Valdai Club invites you to discuss the results of one of the most expected political events of 2021 in real time.
The Geneva meeting is the first US-Russian summit since July 2018. According to Russian diplomats, over the past years, the two countries’ relations have changed “from bad to worse” and have reached an all-time low since the end of the Cold War. The political atmosphere between Moscow and Washington remains tense: the two countries’ elites see each other as adversaries, while accusations of interference in the US elections and cyberattacks brought against Russia have ramped up the anti-Russia information campaign to an unprecedented scale. The incessant tightening of sanctions pressure has significantly complicated the development of ties between Russian and American business circles. Even though diplomatic relations are maintained, the ambassadors of both countries have been absent from their respective offices in Moscow and Washington for more than a month – an unprecedented situation for bilateral ties.
Since fundamental contradictions between the United States and Russia are unlikely to be resolved in the near future; neither the expert community, nor political circles expect significant results from the summit. Speaking at SPIEF-2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he did not expect a breakthrough. Political signals from Washington in the run-up to the summit do not indicate that the United States intends to change its approach to Russia either. Still there is hope that the parties could outline the key spheres of bilateral dialogue for the years to come. These could include strategic stability, climate change, and joint efforts to tackle the pandemic.
What significance can the summit have for the bilateral relations? Will it initiate consultations on a new US-Russian treaty on strategic stability? These and other issues were addressed by the participants in the Valdai Club’s discussion.
Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, and Director of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative
William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute
Dimitri Simes, President of the Center for the National Interest, publisher of The National Interest
Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director and Research Fellow at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Ivan Safranchuk, Director, Senior Research Fellow, Center of Euro-Asian Studies, IIS MGIMO University
Fyodor Lukyanov, Research director of the Valdai Discussion Club
Working languages: Russian, English