Joe Biden, Nina Khruschev, Andrew Weiss discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
Go to grow dot google slash certificates this point meghna chakrabarti and today we are talking about what might be in. Russian president vladimir. Putin's playbook ahead of the meeting between putin and us president. Joe biden later this week. Now let's listen back to some of the back and forth between the two leaders earlier this year in march president biden was interviewed by abc news and his words created a backlash from the russian government and including from vladimir putin himself. Here's what president biden said. Look most important thing dealing with foreign leaders. In my experience. I dealt with an awful lot of more. My career is just no the other guy. So you know vladimir putin you think he's a killer Do so what price must he pay. Price is going to pay. We'll you'll see shortly. Putin responded on russian television he said every nation has its own quote bloody events and then he taunted biden knighted. And you know. I remember in my childhood. When we argued in the courtyard we used to say it takes one to know one. And that's not a coincidence. Not just children saying or joke. It has deep psychological meaning. We always see our own traits and other people and think they are like how we really are and vladimir putin also had this response after biden mentioned. Putin's interference in the twenty twenty. Us elections putin asked what he would say to the american president in response. And here's how he answered. We couldn't course as he said we know each other. Personally what would i replied to him. I would say. I wish you health. I wish you health. I say that without any irony or joke joining us now is nina khruschev professor of international affairs at the new school in new york senior fellow at the world policy institute. She also the great granddaughter of former soviet premier nikita khruschev and author of putin's footsteps searching for the soul of an empire across russia's eleven timezones professor khruschev. Oh welcome to on point incubator. Rewriting me also with us. Today is andrew weiss. He's a russia expert with the carnegie endowment for international peace worked on the national security council and state department and pentagon in the administration of george h w bush and bill clinton andrew weiss. Welcome to you grew to be here so first of all professor khruschev. Let me start with you. What do you read in the back and forth interviews and media between putin and biden over the past several months. How would you judge its significance. Well it is significant because russia has been the american mind for a long long time. Russia is the premier enemy. Even if it's not probably its capacity certainly in its imagination so It has been you know if there is a story about russia every newscast and with putin everybody's eager to interview him and catch his beings of this and that so that really deficit prize here. It's pretty much. The same thing is that you know. America sees us as an enemies. So we are seeing america's anatomy to and therefore we're going to catch little details of how joe biden walk so how donald trump speaks or how barack obama respond so bid. Really doesn't surprise me what i find interesting and i wish for america american leader stop insulting putin personally because i actually think that that damages any possibility of better relationship because if you see when putin response he very rarely talks about personalities. He talks more unless he's asked particularly. He talks. More about america's a country about american russian relations in some such So when american leaders concentrate so much and putin that's why actually wrote my book about eleven time zones because russia's bigger than putin and more interesting in fact than putin that he also by Having so much concentration on his personality he loves that He's an exhibition as he has shown that even in body language in showing Seen it the years. And so. I think that is absolutely Absolutely a kind of logical from ovid of all their attention that both countries get inside the country but also with each other against other. also andrew weiss. Let me turn to you on this. Because i it's fascinating to hear a professor khruschev talk about a her advice for the united states to tone down. Its personal focus on On putin the man himself. However i mean we just came through four years of the trump administration where former president trump was giving attention to vladimir putin but it was almost universally positive and flattering. And it doesn't seem to me that that approach reduced russia's aggressive stance in places like ukraine or these of in albany etc. So does it really matter at all. Sort of how. The united states how the. The president talks about putin himself. It's i think it's doesn't serve anybody to get hung up on personalities. The united states and russia have very problematic relationship and the grievances on both sides have been piling up for a very long time. So if you go back even to the very first meeting that president obama had with putin in two thousand nine. He asked putin a very simple question. Tell me some things about what's gone right and us. Russia relations and putin literally just launched into this diatribe that lasted more than sixty minutes with all of his pent up frustrations grievances and chips on shoulder about the united states. So for the united states to get hung up on putin is and what makes them tick. Those are largely unknowable. Fangs what we do know. Is that the relationship between two countries is important. It's been horribly Difficult for the last seven plus years. The united states has largely been in a reactive posture dealing with all the problems. That ambassador mcfaul was just talking about a few moments ago and the question is what do the russian what sort of changes their calculus. What would force them to behave differently. I think that's the real big question that's facing president biden. This week is can he say anything in geneva that makes putin think twice about some of these conduct conduct that have been caused the united states so much trouble so so professor khruschev. Return back to you on that because as you heard in my conversation with ambassador mcfaul earlier i pointed out that in twenty fourteen then vice president biden wanted president obama to adopt a much more aggressive stance towards russia following the ukraine invasion But will a more aggressive stance weather in this meeting or policy wise or through a more american muscular american diplomacy reach vladimir putin in any way will it cause him to change his behavior or decision making as the russian president. I don't believe so. I think it's pretty much case of wishful thinking because one of the things that Certainly the russians and gotten used to and putin enjoys that even because he plays with it quite well. Is that you know. When america gets the muscular approach the russians are saying well look those cowboys they just think the charge in and Give everybody a gun. It's going to solve everything or if you don't beat. Unlike behavior is going to be sanctions and whatnot. So i don't think it's I don't think it's going to do anything in fact And i think ambassador mcfaul was correct. In saying that putin's favorite game is what about is my bet certainly going to happen there. Because for example joe biden wada position. He uses putin of instability in the world and putin himself has a very long laundry list of american instabilities. The war in iraq It's stain ability to deal with arab spring in the outcomes of et invested a mcfaul mentioned libya. And how you can help partial to that decision president then president bettega was but then you know they'd kill kovno qaddafi so that will russians know that you never can trust trust those democratic movements on the part of the united states so i think andrew would know better because he worked for the government I think it's very little given take that is going to happen. I think that one of the important questions will be about twenty twenty twenty two because the midterm elections coming and although i'm not of the school of thought that russians change with their disinformation campaigns change any outcomes of any american Elections still would be better not to have those kind of trump and we see trump was going to charge on with his new information about his winning elections in two thousand twelve twenty two. So how would russia respond. That could be conversation. And i think in this sort of tough price to pay would be an important thing because we don't know exactly what kind of wealth of riches put himself has and wear his people. I mean they've been sanctioned but really not much information is available about you know. Say some Bank accounts in switzerland or in london aware so embarrass them kind of that. The red line. I guess they can look into chatter. What kind of the outcome of that cyber Cyber crimes that are going to face each other's Each other's counterparts. But i really think that the The respectful conversation nor the you are the killer but not respectful but at least you know anglo-saxon slight disdain but credible politeness would really serve. Joe biden well. Okay andrew. what do you think about that. I think that it's really important for joe biden to come into this meeting as he is with a sense of confidence that your the united states is going to come out of this pandemic..