lørdag 27. mars 2021

Russia and China tell Biden: The old days are over

The past week has marked a watershed moment in Russia’s relations with the West – and the US in particular. In two dramatic, televised moments, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin changed the dynamics between their countries, perhaps irrevocably.

Most commentators in the West have focused on Putin’s “trolling” of Biden by dryly – though, according to Putin, unironically – wishing his American counterpart “good health.” This, of course, came after Biden called Putin a “killer.”

But a more careful and complete reading of Putin’s message to the US is necessary to understand how a Russian leader is, finally, ready to tell the US: Do not judge us by your claimed standards, and do not try to tell us what to do. Putin has never asserted these propositions so bluntly. And it matters when he does.