The first meeting of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin was more harmonious than expected. The US has now announced new sanctions against Russia. The reason are two events.
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The US government says it is preparing new sanctions against Russia even after the summit between US President Joe Biden and Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday that “another package of sanctions” was being prepared for the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a chemical warfare agent. Once the “right targets” are identified, “we will impose further sanctions on chemical weapons”. The US government will continue to impose punitive measures against Russian companies because of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Sullivan said that Biden had recently only waived sanctions against the Swiss operating company Nord Stream 2 and its German managing directors on the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline – out of consideration for “our European allies and friends”. Punitive measures against Russian companies involved in the project have been and will continue to be imposed. He pointed out that when Biden took office in January, the pipeline was 90 percent complete.
Sullivan defended Biden’s meeting with Putin on Wednesday against criticism. He stressed that Biden had made it clear that he would measure Putin by his actions in the next six to twelve months, not by his words. Then it will show whether the bilateral relationship can be improved.
At their meeting, Biden and Putin agreed, among other things, on the return of their ambassadors to Moscow and Washington, who had temporarily left their posts in the spring in the wake of growing tensions between the two countries. They also agreed, among other points, to start talks on arms control. Putin defended Navalny’s imprisonment after the summit. Biden then announced that he would continue to make the human rights situation in Russia an issue.