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An emboldened Biden meets an unbothered Putin

Columnist

June 15, 2021 at 8:58 p.m. EDT

Other experts argue that Putin, too, may need predictability. “An increasingly out-of-touch autocrat presiding over a worsening economy, Putin cannot afford an uncontrolled intensification of international conflicts — especially with the United States,” wrote Michael Kimmage in Foreign Affairs. “Putin needs levers to manage conflict. A working relationship with Biden would cost him nothing, and it might well purchase him the geopolitical respite he needs to address the fraying tapestry of domestic Russian politics.”

“Maybe the most important thing is to make the relations more pragmatic,” Tatiana Stanovaya, head of a think tank called R.Politik, told my colleague Isabelle Khurshudyan. “I don’t think the Kremlin is really counting on having some important progress during the summit, but much more important will be what happens after the summit. The Kremlin would like to create some mechanisms to interact.”

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