Sunday 28th of February 2021

mutual meddlings...

biden shoots blanks from the hip...

US President Joe Biden has warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about election meddling in their first call, the White House says. 

The conversation included a discussion about the ongoing opposition protests in Russia and an extension of the last remaining US-Russia nuclear arms pact.

Mr Putin congratulated the new US president on winning the election, according to a Russian statement.

Both parties said they agreed to maintain contact moving forward.

Former US President Donald Trump was accused by critics of not being forceful enough with Mr Putin. US intelligence officials say Moscow has been involved in several US hacks.

Former President Barack Obama - under whom Mr Biden served as vice-president - was also accused of weakness on Russia, and failing to check the Kremlin as it annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine and muscled in on Syria.

What did the White House and Kremlin say about the call?

"President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies," a US statement said.

A White House readout of Tuesday afternoon's call said that the two presidents also discussed the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack, reports that Russia placed bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

The Kremlin readout of the call did not refer to any points of friction the White House said Mr Biden had raised.

Russian officials said Mr Putin had "noted that the normalisation of relations between Russia and the United States would meet the interests of both countries and - taking into account their special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world - of the entire international community".

"On the whole, the conversation between the leaders of Russia and the United States was of a business-like and frank nature," the Kremlin statement added.

Joe Biden had indicated he would be tougher on Vladimir Putin than Donald Trump, who refused to take on the Kremlin and frequently cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 

On that matter Mr Biden made his sharpest break with Mr Trump, reportedly telling Mr Putin that he knew Russia had tried to meddle in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. He also warned the Russian president that the US was ready to defend itself against cyber-espionage, and any other attacks. 

Despite Mr Trump's conciliatory approach, the Kremlin did not benefit from his presidency, because his administration heavily sanctioned Russians for issues ranging from Ukraine to attacks on dissidents. Joe Biden and his foreign policy team will take a robust position on human rights and Mr Putin's intentions in Europe. 

But they are not looking for a confrontation. 

Rather, they hope to manage relations and co-operate where possible. In that vein, the two presidents did agree to work at completing the extension of the new Start arms control treaty before it expires next month.


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a new start improvement...

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill extending the New START nuclear arms reduction agreement, the Kremlin has announced. Should his US counterpart Joe Biden follow suit, the treaty will remain in force until 2026.

Friday evening's move comes just two days after the Russian parliament unanimously agreed to prolong the pact that was about to expire on February 5.

Earlier this week, Putin and Biden agreed to trigger the five-year extension clause following a lengthy phone call. This launched the paperwork needed to save the treaty, which had been left in limbo after the previous Donald Trump administration, in Washington, refused to prolong it without preconditions.



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let's make a deal...


Presently the administration of Joe Biden, full of its upright morality, demands that Navalny be released forthwith. Well, let’s make a deal! We release Navalny after he has served his sentence for embezzling moneys — yes, yes, yes, he has — but beforehand, you release Julian Assange whose only crime is to have exposed the US own documented hypocrisy in their little warring ventures. Okay. Done.



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