Biden is acting more like Trump in Russia than you might have thought

An important meeting took place this week that received a fraction of the attention it deserved, writes Mary Dejevsky

Thursday 09 December 2021 21:30
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<p>It amounted to a good old-fashioned summit in substance, if not in form</p>

It amounted to a good old-fashioned summit in substance, if not in form

An important meeting took place this week that received a fraction of the attention it deserved – and I don’t mean Joe Biden’s damp squib of a “Democracy Summit” that opened in Washington on Wednesday night.

True, the encounter I am talking about took place in the ether rather than in person – as so many have done over the past almost two years. True, partly as a consequence, it was shorn of almost all of the trappings associated with such high-level encounters. And, true, much else was going on, with a juicy political scandal in the UK, a new Covid variant running amok and the transfer of power in Germany. But none of that should detract from its significance.

The meeting I am talking about took place on Tuesday morning in Washington, afternoon in Moscow, and entailed two hours of direct talks between President Biden and President Putin in what amounted to a good old-fashioned summit in substance, if not in form. The two leaders had last met face to face in Geneva, in June, in what had been cast very deliberately as a summit in the classic late Cold War mould.

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