Author`s name Lyuba Lulko

What were the reasons behind Biden's call to Putin?

Joe Biden's call to Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, April 13, was prompted by Moscow's reaction to the crisis in the Donbass. The Americans are trying to tame Putin with  carrots and sticks.

Biden called Putin after Shoygu's speech

The US President was advised to call the Russian leader not to have Ukraine reformatted as a result of Russia's response to the escalation in the Donbass. 
It appears that Biden called Putin following the statements from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu, who announced the redeployment of two armies and three airborne units to the western borders of Russia in three weeks.

The statement that the US administration released following the telephone conversation, said that Biden asked (did not demand!) the Russian president to ease tensions with regard to Ukraine. Biden also stressed out the unwavering commitment of the United States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In fact, this is about nothing from the point of view of Realpolitik.

Russia prepared for financial sanctions

There is always big money behind US interests. The Kremlin may have assumed that the Russian banking system was fully prepared for disconnection from SWIFT, Visa and MasterCard. Indeed, over seven years, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation has created its own system for transmitting financial messages (SPFC) and the MIR card. The transnational SWFT, Visa and MasterCard systems do not want to lose such clients as Russian companies, many of which are also transnational.

USA does not need serious problems in Europe

One may also presume that the third reason behind Biden's call to Putin was about USA's unwillingness to deal with serious problems in Europe. The United States already has China and Taiwan in the South China Sea, let alone the always unpredictable DPRK that has withdrawn from any negotiations with the United States. The Iranian issue has been gathering pace as well: the Islamic Republic has launched the 60-percent enrichment of uranium (a nuclear bomb requires 90-percent).

Does Putin want to meet Biden in person? 

The US President proposed holding the summit with his Russian counterpart in a third country in the coming months to discuss a full range of problems that the USA and Russia are facing. It does not matter where the summit takes place  - the question is whether this summit is worth it at all. 

Not that long ago, Putin asked Joe Biden for a meeting, after the latter called Putin the "killer." Biden preferred to fence away, so does Putin need to hurry to some third country to have a chat with his boorish counterpart? 

We do not know whether Biden apologised to Putin for his affirmative answer to the question from ABC News journalist. In a decent society, people do apologise for such things in order for the dialogue to resume. The apology from Turkish President Recep Erdogan  for the downed Russian plane in Syria is fresh in memory. Does Russia need to shrug off that insult from Biden? 

The return of Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to Washington would mean that an apology has been made and accepted. Perhaps the Americans will wait for Camilla Harris to do it in a year or two, when Biden has to retire for health reasons. 

Washington's carrots and sticks

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said that Biden's meeting with Putin would provide an opportunity to take the Russian-American relations to a new level. "Time is running out," said the former head of the Soviet Union. As they say, listen to Gorbachev and do the opposite, as everything that he had done did not bring any good to Russia. 

Obviously, the Americans are trying to tame Moscow with carrots and sticks, but we would like to hope that Vladimir Putin is immune to this type of policy.

Russia has held many summits with the Americans during the  recent years, and the result has always been the same - sanctions, sanctions and even more sanctions. Why not ask Washington to lift sanctions in return for the summit? Iran is walking this path already and agrees to resume the talks regarding its nuclear program provided that Washington lifts sanctions against Teheran. 

Russia moves two armies to western border