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    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:01 pm

    Biden-Putin meeting shows Russia-US relations are set for a return to the Cold War-era. Strangely, that might be an improvement, by Fyodor Lukyanov for RT News. 17.06.2021

    The long-anticipated summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, was, a total, if modest, success. Aside from the hype, it achieved its goals of cooling tensions after years of circus antics.

    While the fears were originally bigger than the hopes, the worst possible outcomes failed to materialize, and the summit served its purpose of getting Moscow and Washington to sit down and do business. Both leaders signed up to a well-polished joint statement that denounced nuclear war and signaled their determination to formulate new principles underpinning strategic stability and cybersecurity.

    What’s more, their respective ambassadors are finally returning to their posts – a positive sign, if even only a symbolic gesture of goodwill. In reality, no matter how hard foreign diplomatic missions work or how many people they employ, they can rarely if ever tip the scale when there is no political will at the top.

    Judging by what the presidents said though, they covered a lot of ground in the brief, yet rather substantive, meeting. Now, they may well end up striking a deal or two – like the spy swaps in the good old days of the Soviet Union – but any such arrangement would be an isolated case with no lasting effect on bilateral relations.

    In general, the talks in Geneva left a positive impression because they resembled classic summit meetings. The exchanges were intensive and serious, with an understanding of real constraints, and without the ideological prejudice that we’ve all become used to over the last couple of decades. The drumbeat of rhetoric in the distance is a necessary backdrop, but the top figures do not really focus on the noise.

    The outcome of the summit does not guarantee anything will change in the long term, as improving relations alone was simply not on the agenda. However, potentially introducing clear rules into our ongoing game of confrontation to control our respective nuclear capabilities would make a difference, not so much bilaterally but globally.

    The United States is not the main global concern for Russia, and nor is Moscow the chief problem for Washington – unlike in the previous Cold War. However, the nature of their relationship impacts each other’s ties with more significant partners. The Geneva summit is a chance for both nations to reconsider the way they work internationally.

    Biden's foreign policy is actually quite straightforward. Apparently, it will prioritize efforts to recreate the political alliance of ‘the West’ like it was in the Cold War, to contain and slow down China, and to engage in a limited way in regional conflicts where the US can, if possible, rely on local partners, rather than play the lead itself. Replacing the ‘global leadership’ slogan with ‘America's return’ is a smart move that gives Washington much more flexibility than before since there is no clear idea in what capacity it is back in the global arena.

    Russia's priorities are also changing, and the shift is obvious to unbiased minds, hard as they are to come by in the West. The movement is a recent trend and it is unclear what its goals will end up looking like. While the US is betting on the old strategy of consolidating the West against a deliberately constructed authoritarian threat, Russia has to double-check its options and reconsider the institutions and tools for use in its foreign policy.

    In the previous years and even decades, Moscow has pushed for new institutions that would help establish the multipolar world. This concept has defined political and diplomatic practice since the mid-1990s, and it marked Russia’s defensive response to the decline of its international status after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Multipolarity implied opposing hegemony but it did not create a clear slot for Russia to occupy in the new world order.

    When international pluralism ultimately emerged, it confused things even further. With the new powerhouses of varying clout, the global landscape evolved rather quickly, turning foreign policy into rocket science. The globalization crisis affected both old and new institutions and arrangements, including those that were created by Russia from the nineties to the mid-2010s. Today, amid the drive toward re-nationalization of world affairs catalyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of intergovernmental organizations is up in the air, with countries eyeing the advantages of flying solo.

    Russia and the US are both facing the same challenge. They have to recalibrate their objectives and approaches to match the new global realities. Ironically, going back to a classic Cold War relationship seems to be more helpful for this task. Both sides seem to be familiar with this time-tested practice, and the format may well suit them best. This is the key takeaway from the Geneva summit.

    However, the catch is that today’s political cycles are measured not in decades but years, if not even months. Make no mistake, any arrangements that create the kind of strategic stability of the Cold War will be unlikely to last as long the second time around.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/526832-geneva-summit-cold-era-improvemernt/

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    Post  par far Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:39 pm

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    Post  mnztr Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:52 pm

    Fact is, we will not know what was said for quite a while. What was said on the podiums is for public consumption.
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    Post  Kiko Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:35 pm

    US investors boost cash flows into Russia despite sanctions 20.06.2021

    Investments by American businessmen in Russia have increased during the sanctions period, according to Valery Garbuzov, director of the Institute for the United States and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    “Whole industries and large enterprises in key sectors of the Russian economy have been slapped with sanctions… So, American investors stopped investing in those sanctioned industries and started searching for other opportunities. As a result, American investments in Russia during the period increased because… the American business aims at obtaining superprofit,” Garbuzov said on Thursday at a discussion at the Izvestia Information Center during the Russia-US summit which took place on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with his American counterpart Joe Biden on Wednesday, told a press conference later that if after the summit Washington imposes sanctions, it will be another missed opportunity in relations.

    Last week, Putin said in an interview with Russia 1 news channel that American corporations want to work in Russia, but US policies towards Moscow prevent them from doing business and force them to make way for rivals. “US businesses are eager to operate in Russia, but are being pulled from the Russian market by the ears,” he said.

    https://www.rt.com/business/526833-us-investments-russia-sanctions/

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    Post  GarryB Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:16 am

    Of course they are going to invest in a growing economy run by a government that manages its debt... that is their best opportunity to make money on their investments which is what investment is all about.
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    Post  Kiko Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:22 pm

    While the media focused on theatrics, Putin & Biden quietly launched a new diplomatic effort to avert an apocalyptic nuclear war, by Dmitry Stefanovich, Research Fellow of the Center for International Security at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS) and Co-founder of the Vatfor project. 21.06.2021

    Atomic warfare was top of the agenda as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, met for crunch talks last week in Geneva, amid escalating hostilities and talk of a return to a ‘Cold War’ mentality.

    The first summit between the pair gives some room for cautious optimism. The atmosphere was respectful and calm, compared to how it might have been, and there seemed to be few aggressive or emotional accusations flying around in the way that has dominated relations between Moscow and Washington in the past.

    Even more significantly, the two leaders put pen to paper on a new document: the Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability. While commentators and Russia-watchers have looked to analyze everything from body language to the sandwiches available at the summit for clues as to how it went, the signed statement itself has received little attention.

    It is common knowledge that nuclear weapons are probably the only area in which Russian and American supremacy is unchallenged. That status quo is also one of the most significant factors in global peace and security, given the scale of destruction atomic bombs can yield, and the fact Moscow and Washington will likely never be rivaled in the size of their arsenals.

    At the same time, that nuclear standoff has prevented, and continues to prevent, major wars between the great powers. And yet, this isn’t inevitable. Strategic stability – or taking away the incentives for one side to strike first because of the devastating consequences of retaliation – needs to be constantly managed. To work, nuclear deterrence must be accompanied by arms control and risk-reduction mechanisms.

    This is where the Presidential Joint Statement signed in Geneva means the most. At just three paragraphs long, its text hardly weighs in as one of the densest documents in international diplomacy, but it does still raise a number of important issues and challenges.

    First and foremost, both sides reiterated their belief that nuclear war cannot be won and must therefore never be fought. That might sound rather straightforward, but the old adage first agreed on by American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev, has fallen out of fashion in recent years, and efforts to revive it have come to nothing.

    Instead of representing a genuine atomic bloodlust on either side, the fact this important position was quietly shelved likely had more to do with American negotiations over North Korea – which, by the way, wasn't mentioned after the summit. Now the two presidents are on the same page – at least when it comes this topic – we must hope other nuclear states will join them, and sooner rather than later.

    The second important area of focus for the statement is one calling for robust “bilateral” dialogue between Russia and the US. This is a welcome step away from that on “bringing China in” when it comes to negotiations. Of course, China will eventually have to join the formal arms control arrangements. Likewise, so will the UK, which is also increasing its nuclear arsenal, although in a different manner, and France, which can be an even tricker customer than China. But, as of today, Russia and the US still have a lot to do themselves although third parties are becoming increasingly important."

    The statement also talks of other efforts to avoid nuclear war. While “arms control” and “risk reduction” are frequently muddled up, it makes sense to separate the two. The “arms control” track will ideally result in the New START follow-up treaty and, hopefully, some other formal agreements addressing new domains of strategic military competition. The “risk reduction” track should then tackle the risks of actual military conflict, which can be sparked by all sorts of unpredictable events, and could inadvertently cross the nuclear threshold.

    Some scholars include the ‘Reagan-Gorbachev statement,’ on which the Geneva agreement was based, in the lists of risk reduction measures as well. It remains to be seen if any of these areas of joint work will succeed, but the fact that, in the words of President Biden, some “dangerous and sophisticated weapons” were discussed in Geneva means there is a mutual interest in finding joint solutions.

    There is still a lot of hard work to be done, including addressing the tough old topic of US missile defense and ways to ensure it doesn’t create a one-sided state of affairs. Also on the agenda for future talks will be how to find a way to account for new strategic weapons, both nuclear and non-nuclear, as well as a broader area of ‘emerging and disruptive technologies’ in new formal and informal agreements.

    Finally, it will be important to consider creating some kind of ‘open arms control architecture’ that will allow other nuclear-weapon states to join the process when the conditions are ripe.

    Of course, the Presidential Joint Statement is a long way from a real negotiation – and negotiations themselves might not result in treaties and agreements – but the attitude seems to be practical and professional on both sides. Judging by both presidents’ press conferences, the results are expected to be achieved before 2024, with the first evaluation of the consultation’s effectiveness in six to 12 months.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s arms control and US relations czar, said the consultation’s kickoff will be in a matter of weeks, rather than months. Russian proposals, such as the ‘security equation,’ have been on the table since attempts at arms control agreements by the previous US administration and remain important to discuss.

    However, it remains to be seen what Washington has to offer now. The people who will probably be in charge of talks on the US side are well known within arms-control circles for their expertise and professionalism, and the world will be watching to see whether the talks result in a real agreement that will make the planet a safer place to live.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/527130-atomic-warfare-geneva-meeting/
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    Post  kvs Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:26 pm

    Yanquis talking about nukes means that they are not getting the nuclear primacy they crave. Putin and the Russian government need to
    be on the ball. The one and only intent of any "dialogue" from the yanquis on this subject is to hoodwink Russia and get themselves back
    on the path of nuclear primacy, with the ultimate objective of destroying Russia.

    Russian leaders should never, ever fall into the trap of projecting rationality and self-preservation on yanquis. Yanquis are insane, hubris-filled
    fanatics who think God put them on Earth to rule over it. As such, they give themselves the right to pass judgement on the rest of humanity
    and mete out their own judgement in the form of mass slaughter. The only policy that Russia should pursue is the one that has achieved the
    obvious result of frustrating yanqui domination ambitions. START should be retired and if Russia signs another round where it cuts its ICBMs
    down to 100 or less, then it will have chosen suicide through bleeding heart ignorance. The warhead numbers should be in the 10,000 range
    to make sure that yanqui ambitions are never achieved.

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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:06 pm

    I don't think russia ever said it wished to further reduce its strategic arms. Just keep it at its current limit.

    Then again, Russia was dumb enough to remove its chemical and biological weapons while US has not
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    Post  lancelot Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:26 pm

    Not just that. Russia started burning the plutonium of the nuclear warheads they dismantled and the US never did.
    The US can easily just make new warheads.

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    Post  kvs Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:31 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:I don't think russia ever said it wished to further reduce its strategic arms. Just keep it at its current limit.

    Then again, Russia was dumb enough to remove its chemical and biological weapons while US has not

    Past statements are not a reliable guide. In the spur of the moment you can have some new START with even lower limits than
    the current one and Russian officials including Putin will be waxing poetic about how this is good for peace and humanity. The
    logic of START is to keep whittling down the ICBMS and the warheads. While Russia will cut for real, the US will take its warheads
    and park them in warehouses.

    The ABM crock only has a chance to work if the number of warheads is low enough. The only good thing is that Russia is not banking
    on ABM this helps it deal with yanqui cheating much better. If it assumed that the yanquis were really cutting back on their nuclear
    attack potential it would be making a tragic mistake. MAD is the only option. Period.

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    Post  kvs Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:32 pm

    lancelot wrote:Not just that. Russia started burning the plutonium of the nuclear warheads they dismantled and the US never did.
    The US can easily just make new warheads.

    They even managed to get a stored warhead option under START. Soviet leaders were selling the USSR and thus Russia down the river.

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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:37 pm

    Out of curiosity, does anyone here have a source to prove the claim Russia is willing to reduce its arsenal?

    It's pretty obvious Russia has been implementing development of brand new strategic nuclear weapons, along with expanding their capabilities of launching them. Putin also said not long ago it's the main guarantee of its sovereignty.

    So what makes you guys think he will agree to a reduction?
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    Post  lancelot Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:58 pm

    The US will probably want Russia to get rid of Poseidon.
    I doubt Russia would do it unless they put the ABM treaty back up. That is the whole reason they developed Poseidon.
    Expect the US to want to deploy space based ABM eventually. All the launcher capacity these US private companies are creating must be used for something.
    Space based ABM will likely be one of the things. Even if it does not work it will pay the lobbyists in Washington so that is what matters to the swamp critters.
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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:11 pm

    Nudol was actually a response to the idea of space based ABM and launchers.

    Then a Russian system doing the same thing would be made, and made significantly cheaper.

    Edit: I'll just give my view:

    Putin wants START because having about 1,500 warheads is most ideal for them. While it doesn't sound as big as it was before hand, its simple, its cheaper to maintain and still guarantees to end NATO if they tried anything. US wants to up the amount and thus Russia would be forced to do the same. This is to guarantee that wont happen. Russians are well aware that the US dont do whatever they sign they would, but as said by someone else, this is just so that Russia could wave it in the face of the US whenever the US breaks the agreements. Still pointless though.

    Russia has no illusions about what the US is or wants to do. Russia will still work on its non strategic assets to counter the Americans - Cruise missiles, hypersonic non nuclear weapons, etc. Since US refuses to rejoin INF treaty, this gives Russia also the ability to increase its nuclear arsenal as well without the START being hit. This benefits Russia since they will then have no issue targeting Europe with IRBM's and the like and save those ICBM's for stronger, more problematic and further away countries. Have you noticed the Russians are not interested in talking about it either.

    I think Russia's major issue is they closed down their last operating plutonium production back in 2010. So if they want weapons grade plutonium, they would have to restart a facility to refine it from Uranium.

    Anyway, this is my take on it.
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    Post  kvs Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:45 pm

    Don't take my posts for criticism. I am hoping that the Russian leadership keeps sober in the coming years.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/25/treaty-banning-nuclear-weapons-made-official-with-50th-un-signatory

    https://www.nti.org/analysis/reports/nuclear-disarmament/

    So the momentum for banning nuclear weapons remains. I do not think it serves Russia's interests to support this. NATzO
    has more meat and economic resources to fight a conventional war against Russia than vice versa. Nuclear weapons have
    been the only reason that we have not had WWIII to remove Russia like we had WWII.

    https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/nuclear-weapons-out-of-control-alexander-savelyev/

    Does not sound like Russia is excluding further reductions in strategic nuclear weapons. The current climate is not exactly evidence
    that Russia has zero intentions to cut in principle.



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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:08 pm

    But then where is the sources state they are willing to reduce the weapons?

    As for banning nukes, they been trying for decades, neither US, France, UK, Russia, China, India and the like are interested.

    Sourcing something from someone who isn't an official but some "expert" from 2017 isn't really a source either in that regard.

    I think you may be worried over nothing.  You of all should be aware Russia isn't stupid and neither is Putin. I mean, he made it clear they would use nukes if their existence is in question or invaded by a superior force.  So with that said, what makes you think he will reduce the arsenal?  Hell, if they did reduce it to 700 warheads, they would have enough to destroy NATO.  But they won't. They didn't back 10 years ago, what makes you think he will want to negotiate this now when they are near at war with NATO?

    You lack faith in Russia and it's government. Even if they have proven they are capable.

    I am guilty too.  Remember a few years ago when US demanded that they have access to Russias nukes to sign new start treaty?  Remember that?  And we all were worried Putin and rest of the government would sell their country down the road?  What happened with that? Nothing.  Russia absolutely refused and the military said screw that.

    Be worried when and if Russia signs an agreement to disarm its nukes.  Then you have every right to go wild.  But currently, there is no sense in it.  I mean, afterall, they are building Sarmat (tested already), building a replacement for Topol and Yars, expanding Avangarde, etc. China isn't even close to having the same amount of nukes nor quality of said nukes as Russia does and everyone fears their nukes. Same with Pakistan and India's.
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    Post  Kiko Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:24 am

    Biden's Approach to Sanctions Will Benefit Russia, 07.07.2021

    The American administration, according to a number of leaks, is changing its attitude towards the sanctions policy. What was the peculiarity of the sanctions policy during the Trump era, how and why will this change under Biden, and how will the new sanctions approach be much more useful for Russia than the old one?

    US President Joseph Biden's team is undertaking a complete overhaul of sanctions policy. This was recently reported by the influential American Wall Street Journal.

    According to the newspaper, the revision itself will end as soon as possible (probably during the summer). And, on the one hand, these terms look somehow optimistic - given the inertia and sluggishness of the American bureaucratic machine, a whole host of various agreements between departments and even government bodies (for example, with Congress). However, on the other hand, the timing is quite realistic - after all, the revision of the US sanctions policy has been asking for a long time. The directions of this revision are not only predictable, but in principle are not contested by the American establishment itself.

    Sublimation experiment failed

    In fact, we are not even talking so much about revisions as about returning sanctions to their classic functions. Punitive - when sanctions are predictably introduced for sins understandable to everyone (including the violator). Deterrent - when the main purpose of sanctions is not so much their imposition as the threat of imposition to prevent these sins. And also mobilization - when one of the tasks of the sanctions is to consolidate allies for collective pressure on the violator.

    Under Trump, the States took a different approach. For the previous US president, sanctions were not a means of diplomacy, but a tool for pursuing a forceful foreign policy to pressure and crush competitors. This means, in particular, that they did not envisage any collective actions together with external partners. “In the previous four years, the United States has acted largely unilaterally and applied sanctions without much grace, disregarding the damage to allies, and sometimes to American business itself,” writes Ivan Timofeev, program director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

    In addition, there was a complete out-of-sync in the sanctions policy among the branches of the American government - the Congress, as part of the fight against "Russian influence", stamped its own sanctions against Moscow, and the administration wrote its own. There was also no predictability in terms of conditions of administration and non-administration. Sanctions were taken against the same Russia literally from the end, on any occasion that appeared.

    As a result, their seriousness and usefulness for the United States was emasculated. The Kremlin and the Russian people began to perceive the American sanctions not as something dangerous or undesirable, but as part of everyday life, from which there is nowhere to escape and whose existence does not depend in any way on the actions of Russia itself. Sanctions have lost their deterrent function and turned into a kind of sublimation mechanism, a means of America's escape from reality.

    The fact is that American policy towards Russia has reached a dead end. It was not possible to change the regime in the Kremlin, and it was not possible to force Moscow to dance to the American tune (in the Washington understanding - “to change behavior on the foreign arena”). At the same time, the American authorities at that time, for various reasons, did not want and could not change course in Russian-American relations and start a normal dialogue with Putin. As a result, the sanctions became a kind of political fig leaf, demonstrating the willingness of the United States to continue the policy of "containing Russia."

    A policy dominated, in fact, by the sporting principle - “participation is more important than results”. Yes, it was a pointless waste of resources, the exhaust was minimal - but it allowed the United States to somehow keep its face in the Russian direction and demonstrate to its satellites and allies its readiness to continue to resist the "evil actions of Moscow."

    Do we need it?

    Under Biden, however, the attitudes have changed somewhat. For a number of reasons (the regime of foreign policy economy, effective relations with the American establishment, the secondary nature of tasks in the Russian direction), the current American president has taken a course to renounce the senseless escalation of relations with Russia. This means that Trump's sublimation, demonstrative-power and masculine sanctions policy is no longer needed. Instead, Biden returns to the classic rules of the sanctions game.

    How profitable is this refund for Russia? Domestic politicians treat the launched revision with caution, without undue optimism. “In the end, everything will most likely boil down to a more restrained application of new sanctions, and not to the abolition of those already introduced (with possible rare exceptions),” says Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov.

    Indeed, one should not expect some kind of mass lifting of restrictions. But let's be honest - there can be no such thing in the current conditions of Russian-American relations. But what can be expected is, for example, a change in the focus of sanctions. What does it mean?

    Today, the most dangerous restrictions for Russia are, of course, economic ones. Sanctions against Russian business, projects, financial institutions. However, these sanctions to one degree or another affect the interests of American allies - for example, Germany, which is now trying to launch the most important infrastructure project Nord Stream 2 together with Russia. Or it concerns Europe as a whole, if we are talking about any restrictions on Russian export-import operations, as well as investment activities. Meanwhile, one of Biden's new principles is a collective approach to sanctions - they will be developed together with key American allies and taking into account their own interests.

    And since under the Biden administration, the United States in European affairs will rely not on destructive anti-European and anti-Russian forces like Poland, but still on Old Europe (primarily Germany), there can be no doubt that Berlin's objections to the unreasonable unleashing of an economic war against Russia will be heard in Washington and taken into account. “The administration is unlikely to use carpet bombing, similar to the sanctions on April 6, 2018, against major Russian businessmen, without a good reason,” Ivan Timofeev is sure.

    Instead, it is likely that the United States will focus on those types of restrictions where its approach is similar to the European one - on human rights. “Targeted sanctions on human rights beloved by Democrats can be applied more aggressively. The "Navalny case" here may become the main attraction point for sanctions. The blow will more likely be against government agencies and officials than against business, ”said Ivan Timofeev.

    But again, let's be honest. Firstly, this is still a lesser evil, and secondly, the Russian Federation is already accustomed to criticism on human rights issues. And I am ready to endure her.

    In fact, the main disadvantage for Russia from the Biden revision lies not in the sanctions policy as such, but in the partial overcoming of a serious transatlantic split between the United States and Europe. Some mending of US-European relations and a temporary resurgence of the specter of Western unity. A unity within which the United States and the EU will again together contain the Russian Federation, preventing it from playing on the contradictions between them.

    Fortunately, the key word here is “temporary”. The divergence of interests between the US and the EU is too deep and concerns too many aspects. So, on the whole, the revision initiated by Biden is still beneficial for the Russian Federation.

    Text: Gevorg Mirzayan

    https://m.vz.ru/world/2021/7/7/1107772.html

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    Post  Kiko Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:26 am

    Biden, Putin discuss cybersecurity, Syria over phone — White House, 09.07.2021.

    The US president also discussed with his Russian counterpart "the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world".

    WASHINGTON, July 9. /TASS/. US and Russian Presidents, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, had a telephone call on Friday, the White House said in a press statement.

    "The leaders commended the joint work of their respective teams following the US-Russia Summit that led to the unanimous renewal of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria today in the UN Security Council," it said.

    The US president also discussed with Putin "the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world," it said. "President Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt ransomware groups operating in Russia and emphasized that he is committed to continued engagement on the broader threat posed by ransomware. President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge."

    https://tass.com/politics/1312495

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