Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration wants a more “predictable” relationship with Russia in an interview with Italian media that was published on Tuesday.
“President Biden met with [Russian] President Putin recently in Geneva and told him very clearly that we would like a more predictable, stable relationship,” Blinken said during a visit to Rome.
Despite Blinken’s comments, the Biden administration’s Russia policy is very unpredictable. For example, the meeting between Putin and Biden on June 16th appeared to go relatively well. The two leaders agreed to return ambassadors to each other’s capitals and to eventually hold arms control talks. But only a few days after the summit, the Biden administration began threatening more sanctions against Russia.
Blinken said if Russia continues its “aggressive actions,” the US would have no choice but to respond. As examples of Russian “aggression,” Blinken cited the hack of the software firm SolarWinds that affected several US government agencies. But Washington never presented evidence that Russia was responsible for the intrusion, and the best US intelligence agencies could come up with was a statement that said the cyberattack was “likely Russian in origin.”
Blinken explained how the US “responded” to the SolarWinds hack and other unsubstantiated claims against Russia, like the idea Moscow interfered in the 2020 election. In April, for these alleged actions, the US slapped a wide array of sanctions on Russia and expelled Russian diplomats, greatly ramping up tensions between the two nuclear powers.