US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may have left Geneva with a sense of the job well done. The summit passed between the two countries, shrouded in mutual distrust without much disagreement An important list of areas of cooperation was agreed upon.
But Russia warns that articulating details and making tangible progress will be much more difficult.
“This is a challenge to higher diplomatic mathematics,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “In this matter, it is of course important to show not only political will, but also a creative approach.”
Putin and Biden agreed at Wednesday’s summit to resume talks on arms control, Establish bilateral discussions on cybersecurity الأمن And explore the possibility of exchanging citizens detained in each other’s prisons. Both sides have failed to make progress in these areas in the past.
“There is no perfect match,” Ryabkov said in an interview published by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. “If this is the case, it will generally mean that all agreements have already been reached.”
“On the contrary, we have the impression that the American approach contains very different parameters from ours. Combining these two approaches, these two formulations, would be a daunting task,” he said, referring to arms control talks, adding that additional consultations could begin “in within weeks.”
The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty – which banned ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5500 km – under President Donald Trump and resisted talks on an alternative deal that does not include China.
Meanwhile, Washington has accused Russia of ordering, supporting or abetting cyber attacks on US companies, government departments and infrastructure. Moscow rejects the allegations and says it is also a constant victim of hacking attempts.
And while Putin and Biden have emphasized that there will be an ongoing dialogue between their militaries in Syria, they remain in direct opposition over the issue. Moscow’s support for the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko The ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Biden said the test would be whether talks progress over the next three to six months, but added his own notes of doubt about the next mission for reporters after the summit: “When did I say I was confident?”
Their separate press conferences allowed the two leaders to offer each other professional courtesies while reiterating old complaints.
Biden condemned Russia’s treatment of opposition activist Alexei Navalny and warned of “Serious consequencesto Moscow if he died in prison, and also criticized the Kremlin’s harassment of foreign media.
Putin, speaking before, has compared Navalny’s prison to those prosecuted for taking part in the January riots at the US Capitol, and cited the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to accuse Biden of hypocrisy regarding human rights.
But the general position of both sides indicates that the talks have at least halted the escalating descent of relations between the two countries to the post-Cold War nadir.
We have warned against any excessive expectations for this summit from the start. “But we can say now, first of all, based on the opinion of the president himself, that this can be described as somewhat positive,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday morning.
“The two leaders had the opportunity to present their positions directly and more or less understand where interaction is possible and where there cannot be interaction at the moment due to categorical disagreements.”
In a move that will help the two sides turn presidential agreements into tangible results, the ambassadors of each country are expected to return to their posts in the next few days, after months of absence after decisions to return them to their countries for consultation.
But Peskov cautioned against rapid progress. He said no concrete agreements on cyber security had been reached, and there was “no deadline” for a possible prisoner exchange.
“There are framework discussions at the state level, after which a very difficult work will begin,” he said, referring to the prisoner exchange. “You need to sit down and talk at the business level. In fact, it’s the same for all the other issues.”
The goal of the summit is to inject stability and predictability into the relationship, a senior Biden administration official said, keeping expectations low as well.
“[W]”We don’t flip the light switch,” the official told reporters after the summit. “This will be an ongoing process and the ultimate test is whether there are practical results.”