Why Russia — and Putin — is likely to be apprehensive a couple of Biden presidency

Former U.S. Vice President, and present Democrat nominee, Joe Biden gestures as he delivers an announcement on the outcomes of talks along with his Ukrainian president in Kiev on December 7, 2015.


Despite some robust sanctions and even harder criticism, Russia has not topped America’s overseas coverage priorities beneath President Donald Trump, who has appeared to have a congenial relationship along with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

However, that would all change if Democrat nominee Joe Biden wins the November three election, in keeping with specialists, who’re weighing up the implications of a Biden presidency on U.S.-Russia relations.

At the very least, analysts anticipate {that a} victory for Biden would improve tensions between Washington and Moscow, and would elevate the likelihood of recent sanctions on Russia.

The nation is already working beneath worldwide sanctions on some key sectors and Russian officers near Putin, for actions together with its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, interference within the U.S. election in 2016 and reported involvement in a nerve agent assault within the U.Ok. in 2018.

Mutual mistrust

Andrius Tursa, central and jap Europe advisor at Teneo Intelligence, stated a win for Biden would enhance transatlantic ties between the U.S. and Europe and would see “a renewed U.S. dedication to NATO” that will be welcomed by Europe.

However he additionally stated such a end result would imply “largely downsides for Russia,” citing a latest historical past of mutual mistrust and acrimonious relations between the Kremlin and U.S. Democrats.

“In common, a possible Biden presidency could be destructive for Moscow and sure result in an extra deterioration of bilateral relations, each by way of rhetoric and substance. The Democratic Party’s candidate has lengthy maintained a tricky stance in the direction of President Vladimir Putin’s administration,” Tursa stated in a notice Friday.

US President Donald Trump (R) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) on the primary day of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2019.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Mutual curiosity

Any new sanctions on Russia are unlikely to be imposed instantly, nevertheless, in keeping with Timothy Ash, senior rising markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management.

He stated on Saturday that “whereas I do assume the course of U.S.-Russia relations will stay on this deteriorating path I’m not positive that we should always anticipate a direct rollout of extra ‘pent up’ sanctions on Russia.”

“I believe these candidates more likely to be working Russian affairs in a Biden presidency are all fairly skilled and stage headed. They will not need to roll out sanctions for sanctions sake. They will need to be very proportionate and logical in strategy,” he stated, emphasizing that it is “necessary for the U.S. to have a business-like relationship with Russia to make sure supply on the U.S.’s strategic pursuits.”

He stated the 2 sides, beneath a Biden presidency, must “study the place they will tolerate one another and get alongside on sure areas of mutual curiosity — akin to arms management — and decreasing dangers of battle the place strategic pursuits compete, for instance on areas like Ukraine, even Belarus and Turkey. Sanctions can be a part of the software package herein, however just one such software.”


Arms control is an space that each Russia-watchers consider may very well be some extent of mutual curiosity and a few concord, nevertheless. Biden has signaled as a lot, saying in 2019 that he would need to see an extension of the foremost U.S.-Russian nuclear arms discount treaty, referred to as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or the implementation one thing related.

“Based on latest statements from either side, negotiations on a brand new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is one space the place progress may very well be anticipated if Biden is elected,” Teneo’s Tursa stated. “However, the timeline could be extraordinarily difficult as the present treaty expires on 5 February 2021.”

Russia itself has acknowledged that arms management may very well be one constructive dynamic beneath a Biden presidency. Earlier in October, Putin criticized what he known as “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric” from Biden, but in addition stated that he had been inspired by Biden’s feedback relating to a brand new arms treaty or extension of recent START.

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