How Joe Biden’s Cold War Experience Shaped His Attitude to Russia | American News

IAt the end of the Cold War in 1988, then-Senator Joe Biden paid another visit to the Soviet Union to negotiate arms control. At the time, he felt comfortable bringing a guest to his room in Moscow: his teenage son.

“Do you remember my son sitting and listening to Hunter Biden? According to Soviet Foreign Ministry translator Viktor Prokofiev, the man was interested in international affairs and diplomacy.

A photo of the meeting shows Biden’s son sitting at his father’s desk, and Andrei Chromiko, head of the Soviet presidency’s presidium, discussing the ratification of the Interim Remote Nuclear Treaty.

“It’s very unusual,” Prokofiev said. “It’s my favorite thing as a Soviet person.”

When he enters the White House next month, Joe Biden will bring with him nearly half a century of foreign policy experience, making him one of the most experienced ambassadors to ever be elected president. “Joe knew the Soviet Union, he knew Russia, he had experience [Vladimir] Said former senator Bill Bradley, who visited Moscow with him in 1979.

Proud of those credentials, Biden recalled sitting briefly in the Kremlin in 1979 with Leonid Brezhnev before talks with Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kozulin. “Brezhnev looked gray; We do not know but he was already dying of an illness. The Soviet president forgave himself after the introductions and moved the crowd to Kozulin, ”Biden wrote in a 2007 memo. He Putin repeated the story Four years later.

But Andrei Kosovoi, a historian at the University of Lille and an upcoming autobiography of the Soviet leader, noted Detailed view of the delegation Brezhnev never mentioned meeting those U.S. senators in his diaries. Neither his secretary nor anyone else on the trip.

“Freshnev was not at any meeting I was at, I was at all the delegate meetings of that trip,” Bradley said. Former Senator Carl Levine also confirmed that Brezhnev was not. Biden’s change committee did not respond to a request for comment.

Biden faced the study before making claims about his foreign adventures. During the Democratic primary earlier this year, he reiterated that racists were arrested in South Africa when they tried to see Nelson Mandela in prison. American newspapers inquired Deleted story Biden eventually admitted: “I was not arrested, I was stopped. I could not go where I wanted to go.”

Freshney’s cameo gives a young Biden gravitational pull in his memoirs. But at the time, Kosovo said Biden was “just a tiny little coke in the Carter ‘detent machine”, which was sent to Moscow to resolve domestic concerns over the Salt II deal. Some Soviet officials refer to the president-elect in their memoirs, and the Soviet newspaper clippings summarize the senators’ visit to Leningrad and Moscow. Bradley recalled a meeting with Kozulin that lasted three hours, and that delegates also met with Foreign Ministry officials and had lunch with a senior military official.

But on those early trips, Biden developed a bad style in his meetings with Soviet leaders, which became his hallmark. If Donald Trump came to Moscow in pursuit of real estate deals and Bernie Sanders sought to join the people of Burlington and Yaroslavl, Biden’s early years would have gone decades to show that he could go toe to toe with Kremlin officials in arms control here.

Joseph Biden (right), along with Andrei Kromiko, the Soviet supreme leader of the Soviet Union, agreed to the Interim Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Moscow in 1988.

Joseph Biden (right), along with Andrei Kromiko, the Soviet supreme leader of the Soviet Union, agreed to the Interim Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in Moscow in 1988. Photo: Toss / Getty Images

He will review with Putin next month a new strategic disarmament agreement, which expires in 2010, which helped move him to vice presidency via the Senate.

“I’m from Delaware, and we have a word – you can not make a fuss,” Biden told Cozy in 1979, Levine recalled. Asked how it sounded in Russian, one translator said: “You can’t fool a guy.” Biden liked this phrase Repeat it almost in the vocabulary – “You can’t bullshit a bullshit” – during his next trip in 1984.

He is remembered in Russia as a supporter of detention who sought to bridge the gap between Moscow and Washington, despite the collapse of relations in the early 1980s. Now pessimists say mutual distrust can be bad.

“If we had the bits of the 1970s and 80s [in the White House]”People don’t care,” said Sergei Karaganov, a leading foreign policy expert who played a small role in organizing the trips that Biden attended in the 1980s.

He recalled Biden’s idea at the time: “American, good-looking, institutionalist left-center.”

Pitton’s appeal was immediately a 1979 TV interview It went viral in Russia after he was re-elected. “I think the prospects for Soviet-US relations are good,” Biden says eagerly before heading to the shop talk about Salt II (which ultimately failed, but both sides adhered to the limits on the number and type of missiles until 1986).

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 deeply paralyzed relations between the White House and the Kremlin. Biden returned to Moscow in 1984, along with then-Senator William Cohen to bring a personal message from Ronald Reagan about the “new approach to arms control.”

By all accounts, both took their mission as deadly. Reagan wrote that the two had “come to Russia and are all wrapped up in ‘disarmament’. I do not believe any of them (JP) are sincere in liking them.” Two years later, Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev spoke about the elimination of all nuclear weapons during the Reykjavik summit. Seriously discussed.

In 1988, Biden returned with a delegation and his son to negotiate the signing of an interim nuclear deal with his Soviet opponent, Chromiko. This agreement has already been signed. “It was a very organized, pre-planned and pre-designed meeting where everyone sees his language,” said translator Prokofiev. The INF, which banned nuclear missiles from the Soviet Union to Europe and vice versa, was one of several key agreements left by the United States under Trump.

With Biden’s next major visit to Moscow in less than 20 years, Putin had dominated Russian politics for a decade, and was even excited to restore ties. This dialogue shifted from arms control and military balance to questions about the promotion of democracy and the economy after the Cold War.

But decades of policy experience are still relevant, Bradley said. “Osho can’t handle it,” he said, recalling Trump’s meeting with Putin. “If there is a chance for a new relationship with Russia, it’s actually a better chance of coming with Biden than Trump.”

When measuring Putin in 2011, he recalled that Biden gave him a straightforward speech: “Mr. Prime Minister, I look into your eyes. I do not think you have a soul.” (In comments that have been at a bad age since 2001, George W. Bush said he saw Putin’s eyes and his “soul.”)

“We understand each other,” Putin said.

But he had too Told opposition leaders (And By some accounts Putin himself) that he should not run for a third term.

Many Russian researchers say it crossed a red line.

“Putin remembers personal attacks,” Karaganov said. “He will never forget it.”

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