Name? Joe Biden
Westphalian identity? US American
Why is he in the news? We have talked a lot about Biden in the past few days and now it is time for his own Daily Update. When a US President goes on his very own Eurotrip, you can bet that the entire week is filled with news about it. First, Biden went to Cornwall in England to meet with the G7, then he continued to Brussels to meet with NATO and the EU, and finally, Biden flew to Geneva to meet with Russia’s President Putin.
Why do we care? Because the US President has the biggest impact on foreign policy, whether you like it or not. The G7 and NATO visits had largely been about collecting the crumbs Trump left of what was once a transatlantic partnership as well as building a united front against China. This meeting with Putin, however, was a lot more personal for Biden.
Why should you care? When two world leaders meet after a long time it is always good to care. There are not many things worse for international relations than no dialogue between major powers. (Although, Biden tried really hard to undermine Russia’s importance on the global stage surrounding this meeting, something Obama tried as well, resulting in the annexation of Crimea…) You should care 6/10.
Who else cares? Alexei Navalny. The Russian opposition leader remains in prison but Biden elevated him to a red line. Saying there would be “devastating” consequences if he died in prison. That will help Navanly for sure …
Any further comments? Putin summarised the meeting best at the press conference after: “We do not need to look each other into the eyes and see a soul, that has nothing to do with our business!” A bold statement when their business is their national interests, something Biden and Putin are willing to defend until the end. But hey, at least they are talking again!