Biden Showed Dignity At Geneva But Has Yet To Advance US Interests - Former Diplomat

Biden Showed Dignity at Geneva But Has Yet to Advance US Interests - Former Diplomat

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th June, 2021) President Joe Biden proved at his Geneva summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he could restore dignity to US foreign policy, but he has yet to show if he can advance American interests, former veteran diplomat and Assistant Defense Secretary Chas Freeman told Sputnik.

"President Biden has once again shown that he can restore a dignified tone to US foreign relations," Freeman, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in the Clinton administration, said. "He has yet to show that he can use the improved atmosphere to advance the interests of the United States."

Biden and Putin met for four-and-a-half hours of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday and produced a joint statement in which they agreed to launch a new Strategic Stability Dialogue between their two countries to lessen the dangers of conflict and nuclear war.

The tone of the meeting was respectful and positive on both sides, Freeman acknowledged.

"The meeting was inconclusive. Its main result was a long overdue resumption of mutually respectful and polite dialogue, symbolized by a renewal of ambassadorial-level relations," he said.

However, Freeman cautioned that while the initiation of new dialogues on nuclear issues and cyber security were welcome, nothing concrete had yet been achieved and on both issues, as well as on many others, the paths to progress might be long and hard.

"The door has been opened for a resumption of talks on nuclear arms control and mutual constraints on the abuse of cyberspace, but there is no guarantee that these will produce much, if anything," he said.

Any hopes for a serious revival of détente between the two nuclear superpowers would likely flounder on the waves of hostile extreme hostility toward Russia in the US Congress and the media, Freeman warned.

"Progress toward détente will be complicated by the continuing flow of invective from witlessly anti-Russian members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and is hostage to the actions of third parties, like Ukraine," he said.

Responsibility for the next stage in improving relations now passed from the two presidents to the working diplomats and related officials in both governments, Freeman explained.

"At this point, that is up to the expert-level talks that the two sides agreed to pursue," he said.

Biden and Putin said they mostly discussed matters concerning cybersecurity, arms control and regional issues related to Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine as well as the Arctic. The two leaders conveyed that the meetings were constructive and progress was made in several areas.