Tensions with Russia – Subsiding or Intensifying?
The highly anticipated summit between President Biden and Vladimir Putin took place Wednesday, June 16. The meeting, which lasted about 2 and a half hours, covered a variety of hot topics. The result, which was supposed to resolve conflict, may have just added fuel to the fire. Although Biden and Putin came to some level of agreement, the weighty matters (cyberattacks, Navalny, Ukraine possibly joining the NATO, and the Kremlin) are still up in the air.
Biden came out swinging, holding Putin responsible for the cyberattack on the Colonial pipeline (which he denied), threatening Russia with devastating consequences if Navalny should die in custody, requesting the release of a pair of Americans within Russian prison, and stating that the U.S. nor its allies will tolerate provocative actions by the Kremlin (WSJ). All of this on top of calling Putin a “killer.” Putin was quoted after the meeting, saying that he will not be cowed (WSJ).
In an attempt to release some of the tension between these two global superpowers, both presidents agreed to return their ambassadors to their posts and are planning to lay the groundwork for arms-control measures (WSJ).
In the midst of all the threats and accusations, one thing is certain, potential conflict is still brewing. When asked whether or not he trusted Putin, Biden finished his statement with these remarks, “I’m not confident of anything,” (WSJ). How things play out from here is the million-dollar question. Will more cyberattacks take place, thus, affecting the supply chain? Is our $35 billion trade relationship in jeopardy? Can all of these conflicts be resolved, and tensions blow over? Or are we in the making of yet another Cold War?