A summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin took place on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
There is no shortage of thorny issues between the two nations, yet the meeting only lasted three hours.
Pascal Boniface, interviewed by
, believes that the two heads of state emerged winners of this meeting.
Three small hours and then go.
Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutin met face to face at a summit on Wednesday on the neutral ground par excellence: Switzerland, in Geneva.
After the US president called his Russian counterpart a "killer" a few months ago, this summit seemed to have a taste of east-west confrontation.
The subjects which pose problem were numerous before the meeting, they are always it after, but for Pascal Boniface, director of Iris and author of the
(Ed. Armand Colin), Joe Biden nevertheless fulfilled his objectives, in particular to to distinguish himself from Donald Trump.
Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutin therefore spoke to each other, but what to remember from this meeting?
What there is to remember from this meeting is the easing of tensions.
We were in a situation where each of the countries was no longer even represented by their respective ambassadors.
It is still a fairly strong degree of tension and hostility between two nations.
The simple fact of sending ambassadors back to each other shows the desire to reconnect and facilitate the diplomatic channel.
They do not of course agree on everything and they never will, but it can be said that they have agreed on their disagreements.
This can help ensure that the disagreements they are sure to have in the future do not prevent having dialogue and contacts to prevent conflicts from escalating.
Joe Biden even used the term "accidental war" to be avoided.
Many observers say Joe Biden sees diplomatic relations primarily as personal relations.
In three hours of meeting, can you really establish this type of relationship?
Personal relationships exist: they should neither be underestimated nor overestimated.
What counts above all are the balance of power.
There was a three-hour meeting, but including the translation time, it ended up being a relatively short interview.
George W. Bush had said in 2001 when he had met Putin that he had read in his eyes that he was a good man.
Joe Biden will never say that!
On the other hand, he will perhaps avoid repeating that he is a killer.
So the personal side, the warm side will never exist between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, but they can normalize their relationship, and that's already a lot.
The issue of cybersecurity emerged as a major topic of the meeting and Joe Biden gave a list of US targets not to be attacked.
Isn't he putting himself in a weak position by doing this?
No, he wants to mark the balance of power.
He wanted to show during this meeting that he was defending principles, in particular when speaking of human rights, of Alexeï Navalny… He knows very well that it will not move Vladimir Poutine an inch, but it was about show that, unlike Donald Trump, he defended values and the United States.
Cyber warfare will become an essential point and certainly more and more occupy the agenda of relations between Moscow and Washington but also the great powers in general.
The most difficult, as we know, is finding the origin of these cyberattacks.
Bringing the subject to the table, talking about it with Vladimir Putin and drawing red lines is important.
Especially since the Russian head of state may think that, in the long term, he too could be threatened by cybercrime.
In this area, there is at the same time competition and rivalry between the two countries, but there can also be cooperation between Moscow and Washington.
This Geneva summit closed a big international streak for Joe Biden, the first of his mandate: can we say that he succeeded in imposing his paw?
He succeeded in a sort of lifting of the grand slam since he aligned four summits in a few days: the G7 summit, the United States-European Union summit, the NATO summit and the United States-Russia summit. He succeeded in reassuring Europeans about the solidity of transatlantic ties, that was his objective. He also succeeded, despite European resistance, in putting China on NATO's program when it is a military alliance and when geographically speaking, it is not necessarily logical to speak of China. Except that this is the priority objective of Biden and the United States.
Finally, in the Biden-Putin meeting, the two won.
Because Joe Biden announced that he would stand firm and showed that he was different from Donald Trump, who was in complicity with Vladimir Putin.
And Vladimir Putin won because he spoke on an equal footing with the President of the United States, which does not quite correspond to the balance of power between Moscow and Washington.
For Putin, the meeting with Biden was "constructive"
Biden-Putin summit: First handshake between the Russian and American presidents before starting their discussions