Putin and Biden discussing European security

By Nina Bachkatov

In many aspects, the 7th December videoconference between presidents Putin and Bidden was an extraordinary event. First, there was the use of the video and the decision to give only a few minutes to the cameras. This brief moment of publicity has been scripted to the extreme, to project not only a person, but a political regime. The problem is that the message has been perceived differently in each “camp”, exposing the still huge gaps of understanding between them. There was president Biden, with a team of close counselors, sitting around a business-like table, in a sort of conference’s hall. On the other side, president Putin was sitting alone at the end of a huge empty desk, in a dark paneled room fitted with equipment showing their age.

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EU-Russia: no Biden effect

By Nina Bachkatov

The last-minute proposal of German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron on the eve of the 24-25 June EU summit backfired, exposing the growing inability of Europeans to find a common foreign policy, notably with Russia. Their intent was noble; their method wrong. Their clumsy, and arrogant, attempt to extract a new framework for EU relations with Moscow was breaking all EU protocol rules, showing the limits of the much tutted “Franco-German couple” and the emotional dimension that still drives new members towards Russia. Continue reading “EU-Russia: no Biden effect”