On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said US-Russia relations are even worse now than during the Cold War.
Lavrov said that Moscow was prepared to normalize ties with Washington but warned that if the US would not participate in a respectful dialogue, “we would live in conditions of a ‘Cold War’ or worse.”
“During the Cold War, the tensions were flying high and risky crisis situations often emerged, but there was also a mutual respect,” he said. “It seems to me there is a deficit of it now.”
The Biden administration’s Russia policy has been extremely hostile. Earlier in April, the US imposed a wide array of sanctions against dozens of Russian officials and entities and expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Before that, the US hit other Russian officials with sanctions over the jailing of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
The US has also been stoking tensions near Russia’s border by sending military equipment to Ukraine and affirming “unwavering support” for Kyiv. On Tuesday, the US deployed a Coast Guard Cutter to the Black Sea.
Throughout these hostile actions, Russia has called for better relations with the US. President Biden is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin sometime this summer, but a date hasn’t been set. Last month, Biden agreed in an interview that Putin is a “killer” who had “no soul.”
President Biden said he would work with Putin where he can on issues like arms control, and the two leaders quickly agreed to extend New START, the last nuclear arms treaty between the US and Russia. But extending New START is the bare minimum. By taking such an aggressive approach, Biden makes further arms control less likely.