Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet with Joe Biden face to face for the first time on June 16th.
Ahead of that meeting Biden has mostly been weak on Russia, deciding to waive sanctions on the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 months after nixing the Keystone XL pipeline.
He has however said that he plans to “confront” Putin on human rights abuses in his country. And immediately following those comments, Russia threatened to send “uncomfortable signals” to the U.S. ahead of the summit, and announced that he’s beefing up their western border militarily.
As CNBC reports:
“The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days,” Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
Ryabkov said Russia would be prepared to respond to Biden’s queries about human rights in Russia and said that Moscow was being more flexible than Washington when it came to drawing up an agenda for the summit, RIA reported.
Russia’s ties with the West are acutely strained over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, a military build-up near Ukraine as well as allegations of election hacking.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that the United States and the NATO transatlantic alliance had recently increased military activity to the West of Russia, which required a response from Moscow. “The actions of our Western colleagues are destroying the world’s security system and force us to take adequate countermeasures,” the Interfax news agency quoted Shoigu as saying. “Around 20 military formations and units will be formed in the Western Military District by the end of the year,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier this month Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov met for the first time since Biden took office. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters of the meeting that the talks were “constructive,” but that “a lot of problems have accumulated” between Russia and the U.S.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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