When the U.S.-Russia summit came to an end, Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately went directly to the press to address questions. President Biden’s press conference was scheduled to follow. Since this is not a joint press conference, Putin was able to freely speak his mind without counter remarks before President Biden had an opportunity to state his side.
President Putin’s press conference was in-progress when we went on the air, but we were able to gather his take on a couple of things. According to Putin, the two leaders agreed that the U.S. and Russian ambassadors will return to their posts. They have also reportedly agreed to begin consultations on cybersecurity. Essentially, according to Putin, they only managed to agree upon addressing cybersecurity at some point in the future. The United States has recently suffered from targeted cyber attacks on major U.S. companies by Russia, or at least Russian hackers. This is not substantial progress from President Biden in any way.
Putin also described the meeting as overall constructive:
Many of our joint positions are divergent. But nevertheless, I think that both sides manifested determination to try to understand each other and try to converge our positions. I think it was very constructive. As far as cybersecurity is concerned, we agreed we would begin consultations on that issue. I believe that is extraordinarily important. And obviously both sides have to assume certain obligations.
So, it seems clear that President Biden went with the “adversary” approach rather than his previous view of describing Putin as a killer if they were able to converge on positions.
Putin also addressed some of the domestic issues in America. When asked about how Russia can even have fair elections, he pivoted to the Black Lives Matter movement and the arrests of American citizens on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol to defend Russia’s own human rights violations.
ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy and former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell commented on Putin’s remarks criticizing America:
I’m listening to Putin’s press conference right now and you're right. The language that he’s using is clearly the talking points from the Democrats about systemic racism. And that’s troubling. I think that is a warning for the Democratic party that all of their criticism of America (and I would say unfounded criticism) by using the word – systemic racism – you mean that the entire system and operation are built to be racist. That is not true and yet they continue to say it. And now our enemies and others are picking up this language and using it against us.
Ric added what he thinks will come after these press conferences:
First of all, President Putin is going to sit through G-7 statements, press statements from the White House, and maybe even some remarks from Biden and from the press and he will be very pleased. Because at the end of the day, he is going home with a pipeline of influence and cash for the next several decades. He is so pleased that this culminated with a Russian pipeline of leverage for 20 plus years that he will sit through any uncomfortable press moments or press statement moments.
President Biden needs to let it be known on the world stage that there is no moral equivalency between America’s human rights and Russia’s. Before he leaves Switzerland, we hope to see President Biden stand up for America and rebuke Putin’s remarks.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference following the U.S.-Russia summit.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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