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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Imperialists get together

by New Worker correspondent

US PRESIDENT Joe Biden lands in Britain this week for talks with his European allies ahead of the summit meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva. He’ll meet Boris Johnson on the eve of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall. The imperialist leader then heads off to Brussels to meet his other NATO allies including the maverick Turks, before finally proceeding to Geneva for summit talks with the Russian leader on 16th June.

Biden clearly expects the British government and his other European allies to loyally rubber-stamp the US negotiating position, which he will doubtless tell Putin represents the will of what the Americans still call the “free world”. He can, of course, count on the backing of his minions in eastern Europe, but he is prepared for a more nuanced response on global trade from the leaders of British and Franco-German imperialism.

Veteran US diplomat Richard Haass, the president of the US Council on Foreign Relations, says: “By and large, these are not meetings on outcomes, these are ‘get to know you again’ meetings for the US and Europe. It’s about delivering a message to Putin, to reviving old alliances and to demonstrate again that the US is back on the right course.”

But the Russians can already guess what the “message” is, and they have no illusions about the outcome of the talks in Geneva.

Although there’s plenty to talk about, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, put the dampers on any high hopes of a positive outcome in Geneva. The two great powers disagree on so many things that “there is no reason to expect any progress in reaching an understanding”.

Likewise, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also warned against over-estimated expectations about the Putin–Biden summit. Nevertheless, Russia was still interested in “pragmatic” relations with the Americans.

“Despite what the West is trying to attribute to us, we are invariably interested in pragmatic mutually beneficial relations with everyone, including the West itself, be it the United States, or its NATO allies, or the European Union,” said Lavrov.

Russia wasn’t seeking to spread its agenda around the world Lavrov said. “We do not have superpower ambitions, no matter how someone convinces themselves and everyone else in the opposite. We do not have that messianic desire with which our Western colleagues are trying to spread their democratic value agenda throughout the planet,” said the Russian Foreign Minister.

The Russian government hopes the Biden administration will review past mistakes ahead of the Putin–Biden summit. “I hope that in the preparation of the summit … those who are now in the Biden administration are engaged with Russia, will assess the actions, interests, position of Russia, our red lines and will, if you like, work on the mistakes of past years and refuse to conduct a dialogue exclusively with the position of claim to hegemony in world affairs,” said Lavrov.

He deplored the fact that the Americans are refusing to open a frank dialogue with Russia on the moratorium of intermediate and shorter-range missiles deployment in Europe: “After the Americans destroyed many of the treaties, for example, the Treaty on Shorter and Medium-Range Missiles, we proposed organising a voluntary moratorium on their deployment, at least in Europe. But despite the mechanisms we have proposed for verifying such a moratorium, the West is still moving away from an honest conversation,” Lavrov said, adding that Putin will again propose a moratorium when he meets Biden.

Biden’s Democrat camp liked to portray Donald Trump as some sort of Russian stooge. But Putin’s past head-to-heads with Donald Trump, including the Helsinki summit in 2018, achieved next to nothing. Let see what happens this time round…