“Obama was very dismissive towards the Russians, calling them a regional energy; they didn’t wish to take into consideration Russia an excessive amount of,” she mentioned. “However the world has modified utterly. Biden can’t do Obama 2.0. They’re going to should suppose in a different way.”
Mr. Putin’s message to Mr. Biden betrayed no hostility and, within the phrases of the Kremlin, “expressed confidence that Russia and the USA, which bear particular duty for international safety and stability, can, regardless of their variations, successfully contribute to fixing many issues and assembly challenges that the world is dealing with in the present day.”
Mr. Biden has a restricted however contentious private historical past with Mr. Putin, whom he has met solely as soon as, throughout a visit to Moscow in 2011, when Mr. Putin was prime minister. After an extended and “argumentative” official assembly, as Mr. Biden recollects it in a memoir, he joined Mr. Putin in his workplace for a non-public dialog.
“Mr. Prime Minister, I’m trying into your eyes,” Mr. Biden remembers telling him with a smile, a nod to former President George W. Bush’s notorious declare to have finished the identical and seen his “soul.”
“I don’t suppose you’ve a soul,” Mr. Biden says he informed Mr. Putin. The Russian chief sounded one thing lower than offended, replying, additionally with a smile, “We perceive one another.”
Michael A. McFaul, a former American ambassador to Moscow, recalled that journey and mentioned Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin had a “sharp alternate of variations” about Russia’s strategy to the encircling area, significantly the previous Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine.
“We went from that assembly on the prime minister’s workplace to his subsequent assembly with the Russian opposition,” Mr. McFaul mentioned. “He had no qualms about that in any respect. He made information there when he mentioned, ‘I informed Putin he shouldn’t run for a 3rd time period.’”