Don’t want to rely on Beijing Geneva summit satisfies Russia

After the conclusion of the U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva, the reaction in Russia was positive and positive, believing that such an outcome would not lead Russia into dependence on China. The U.S. and Russia will also cooperate on Arctic issues. Some commentators believe that the U.S. and Russia share common interests as Arctic nations in order to counter China’s ambitions for the Arctic.

The summit met the expectations of conflict management instead of verbal abuse

The just-concluded U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva did not feature the criticism and attacks of the U.S.-China meeting in Alaska a few months ago. Many Russian commentators who followed the summit said that the fears did not happen and the outcome of the summit met the expectations.

Putin said at a press conference that the atmosphere at the meeting was not hostile and that the talks were constructive. Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, said that the summit had a very positive outcome because the two heads of state had directly met face to face to explain their respective positions and knew more or less in which areas they could cooperate and in which areas they could not interact at the moment due to fundamental differences.

A brief joint statement by the two presidents was published on the Kremlin’s official website that night, focusing on the topics of strategic offensive arms and arms control. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister for North America and Arms Control Liabokov, who was part of Putin’s delegation, described the statement as a continuation of the spirit of the first summit between Reagan and Gorbachev in Geneva in 1985.

Russian stock and currency markets also reacted positively to the summit. Tightened relations with the West have caused the ruble to depreciate since the beginning of the year until recently. After the summit, both the stock market and the ruble’s exchange rate rose. Kommersant, Russia’s leading newspaper, said that the ruble’s exchange rate will continue to strengthen in the near future.

Commenting on the summit, another influential newspaper, Moskovsky Komsomolets, argued that the two sides had replaced mutual name-calling with conflict management. The online newspaper Kommersant said there was an instant mutual trust between Russia and the U.S., with signals from Geneva of stabilization and normalization of relations between the two countries. The Independent, on the other hand, believes that relations between the two countries may not be eased, that opposition leader Navalny will not be released and that grievances against each other remain.

A first step toward dialogue and stabilization of bilateral relations

Many commentators have used the word “success” to describe the summit, as evidenced by the fact that the ambassadors of both countries will soon return to their respective posts and that the two countries will open negotiations in the field of arms control, as well as begin discussions to resolve their diplomatic conflicts and seek to restore the functioning of the visa center. Negotiations will also be initiated on topics such as cyber security and hacking, and the exchange of citizens of the respective countries held in prison. In short, the two countries have decided to open channels of dialogue in areas where they can cooperate.

Many Russian foreign affairs analysts believe that Russia and the United States are realistic about the summit, without too many illusions and expectations. In their view, all contacts between the two countries’ militaries have been suspended in recent years, except in Syria, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic, where the two militaries remain in contact to avoid gunfire. The resumption of the dialogue pipeline certainly sends a positive signal for bilateral relations. In parallel with the summit, a number of senior officials from both countries met in related fields. Deputy Speaker of the Russian Upper House Korsachev said that this is a first step towards stabilizing Russian-US relations, which is already very good.

Not to let relations get out of hand with more leverage to face Beijing

There are also many comments that the summit is only an attempt to regulate bilateral relations as the fundamental and fundamental nature of confrontation and disagreement in the relations between the two countries cannot be changed yet, and therefore the conflicts and contradictions between the two sides will remain, and the relations between the two countries will not turn warm and warm up. But nevertheless, the significance of the summit is to try to avoid further deformation of relations between the two countries. Otherwise, Russia will face the risk of direct conflict with the U.S. and NATO, fall into an arms race, will be subject to more severe sanctions to the risk of economic damage, and Russia’s relations with the U.S. and Western allies will be more difficult to deal with in the future. What worries the Kremlin most is that if Russian-US relations continue to spiral out of control, Russia’s room to maneuver in the US-China-Russia triangle will shrink significantly and its dependence on China will deepen further.

If this trend of cooperation between Russia and the U.S. can be maintained and relations are prevented from continuing to deteriorate grotesquely, this could give Russia a limited free space in the U.S.-China confrontation, which risks evolving into the Cold War of this century, said the leading broadsheet Gazeta. Maneuvering between power centers would allow Russia to avoid conflict with them. The report argues that Russia should learn from China’s experience, not to mention become a vassal of China. Because China owes its success precisely to the fact that it did not join forces with the Soviet Union against the Western bloc, but became a partner of the Western world, which brought China huge economic dividends.

The summit will undoubtedly give Moscow more leverage in its future dealings with Beijing. Some Russian scholars on China say that after the U.S.-Russia summit, it is likely that Putin will meet with Xi Jinping next. The two countries recently held a series of events in Moscow to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaty on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between them.

The renewal of the treaty, which is expected to be renewed in mid-July with some new additions, is considered a very important event in Russian-Chinese relations this year.

According to Russian strategic scholar Simonov, Russia has to use wisdom and diplomatic skills when dealing with China, and there has to be a balance.

Simonov said, “It is necessary to get the balance right, that is, on the one hand to develop active cooperation with China and on the other hand to avoid dependence on China. Concerns about dependence on China are real and the reasons behind them are clear, because China is now Russia’s main neighbor with rising national power.”

Simonov said that Russia has been talking with China for more than a decade before launching the gas pipeline project, in which it is impossible to say who loses and who wins, which could give Russia a reference when dealing with China.

China’s Arctic ambitions Regional countries join forces

Russia took over the two-year rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Iceland in May this year. While Russia’s desire to dominate the Arctic shipping lanes has caused discontent among many countries, it still has many common interests in Arctic affairs with the United States, which is also an intra-regional country.

Putin said at a press conference after the summit that the two sides discussed Arctic issues this time, especially at an expanded meeting with more officials later on. The Gazette noted that Putin called it important that Russia and the United States are separated only by the Bering Strait. Russia has an inherent advantage in the Arctic, which could become a potential future area of cooperation between Russia and the United States and the Western world.

The major Russian newspaper said today’s Arctic order is being challenged by China after it branded itself as a “near-Arctic state. But no member of the Arctic Council can accept China’s ambitions for the Arctic, and the Arctic states do not support China’s attempts to dilute its position as an extraterritorial country geographically away from the Arctic. Putin’s reference to the Arctic this time shows that both Russia and the United States are interested in cooperating on Arctic issues.

Putin was on time for the meeting

In addition to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the chief of the Russian military staff, the ambassador to the U.S. and two senior Kremlin officials in charge of Ukraine and Syria also attended the summit, indicating that the topics discussed at the summit touched on the areas of responsibility of these officials. But Patrushev, the secretary-general of the National Security Council, who was involved in the preparations for the summit, did not accompany Putin to Geneva this time.

The fact that Putin, who is often late for meetings, arrived at the summit on time this time also shows the importance Putin attaches to Russian-US relations.