Russian President Vladimir Putin did not congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden (on winning the election) and will not do so until Biden’s trials with outgoing President Donald Trump are over.
“We consider it correct to wait after all the official announcement of summing up the results of the elections,” – said on Monday Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. But even after the official congratulations are sounded, the Kremlin expects a prolonged standoff with the United States under the new Biden administration.
However, not many people in Russia’s ruling circles will actually miss the outgoing president. Despite Trump’s friendly rhetoric towards Moscow and especially Putin, the United States and its European allies decided to impose numerous economic sanctions against Russia during the Trump administration, and his signing of the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” finally perpetuated this regime. Given that this position is shared by the majority on Capitol Hill, the Kremlin believes that these sanctions will remain in place indefinitely. In addition, Trump has dealt a tangible blow to the US-Russian arms control regime, further diminishing the potential for developing bilateral relations, which have already suffered so badly since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in 2014 and Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. The positive aspects of the Trump presidency, from the Kremlin’s point of view, are the increasing division within the United States and Washington’s growing alienation from its allies.
But there are some positive aspects for Russia in the 2020 election results and in the Biden presidency. The election results showed that deep divisions in American society will not go anywhere, so the new administration may well be absorbed in internal problems (rather than increasing pressure on Russia). The prospect that the US Senate will remain under Republican control also weakens the next administration (if Biden comes to power). In addition, the lengthy and painful electoral process, as well as its criticism by Trump, have become good topics for domestic Russian propaganda aimed at convincing ordinary Russians of the simple truth: their own system is in many ways superior to the chaos of a democracy …
The Biden administration is likely to focus on internal issues and competition with China, and its clear policy towards Russia will be determined by the team that Biden will create to gain control of the American national security system. Thus, Moscow’s judgment on what to expect from the Biden presidency largely depends on the final composition of the team responsible for foreign policy, including Washington’s new rhetoric towards Moscow.
Based on materials: “Foreign Policy” (USA)