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What Putin really wants from Biden


Sarah RainsfordBBC News
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   Negativity   66.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57427055
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Summary

On top of all that, there's the moment in March when Joe Biden agreed with an interviewer that Vladimir Putin was "a killer".And yet, the two men are set to meet as presidents for the first time, and some in Russia see that as an achievement in itself."The summit is important in terms of symbolism; it puts Russia in the same league as the US, and for Putin symbolism is not unimportant," says Andrei Kortunov, director of the RIAC think-tank in Moscow.The meeting comes early in Mr Biden's time in the White House, on his first foreign trip and at his request - all bonus points for the Kremlin. "Whatever Putin might want, I don't think he can gain anything [domestically] by escalating."What Vladimir Putin doesn't want, but is braced for, is a lecture on human rights - including the case of Alexei Navalny, Russia's opposition politician first poisoned and now in prison.Navalny's political offices and anti-corruption organisation have just been banned as "extremist" by a Moscow court, a ruling that could easily have been delayed until after the summit.

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