The odd couple – Can Biden and Putin find a way to thaw relations between America and Russia?

The odd couple – Can Biden and Putin find a way to thaw relations between America and Russia?

June 18, 20212 min read

It was a meeting of two world powers that came with low expectations but much anticipation. The face-to-face meeting between American President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin may not have accomplished much, but it did allow Biden to set a tone on his approach to foreign relations.

President Joe Biden's meeting Wednesday with his Russian counterpart came after months of diplomatic wrangling over the details, days of preparation with reams of research and the elaborate construction of two separate lakeside venues for the leaders to appear afterward.

But after the summit had concluded, the ornate French style manor home was locked up and the leaders were jetting in opposite directions home, the state of relations between the United States and Russia seemed about the same as before.

That is not necessarily a surprise, least of all for Biden, who entered the summit with the vague and modest goal of establishing a "predictable and rational" relationship with Vladimir Putin.

Putin's performance afterward was certainly predictable, if not entirely rational.

Ultimately, Biden set expectations so low for his first face-to-face encounter with Putin that anything more than someone not showing up at all amounted to breaking even.  June 16 - CNN

What comes next is up to both leaders – but the world will be watching.

  • Is there a chance to find common ground between the two countries?
  • Will Russia continue to interfere in U.S. elections and hack American agencies - and how will American respond?
  • What happens if Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in prison?
  • And, did this meeting give Putin the elevated push he needs internationally?

If you are a journalist looking to cover this subject – then let us help.

Dr. Stephen Farnsworth is a sought-after political commentator on presidential politics. He has been widely featured in national media, including The Washington Post, Reuters, The Chicago Tribune and MSNBC.

Dr. Farnsworth is available to speak with media any time. Simply click on his icon to arrange an interview today.

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  • Stephen Farnsworth
    Stephen Farnsworth Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

    Dr. Farnsworth has spent decades researching how media and politics intersect. Check out his website at

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