GENEVA (NewsNation Now) — Once that G-7 summit ends, President Joe Biden will head to Geneva for his highly anticipated face-to-face Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The previous presidents have all struggled dealing with Putin.
Former President George W. Bush famously said he trusted Putin because he looked into his soul, only to have the Russian leader invade a key U.S. ally.
Former President Barack Obama proposed a “Russian reset.” Putin welcomed it but then invaded Ukraine, shot down an airliner and his intelligence services ran a cyber campaign to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency.
Former President Donald Trump thought the two could be friends. Putin got him to side with the Russians over American’s own intelligence services.
Now it’s Biden’s turn to face off with the Russian leader.
“Part of this is Putin’s, ideology in terms of wanting to again, restore the notion of a greater Russia that obviously he was a part of, said Foreign Affairs Columnist Tom Rogan.
He added, “He sees Russian global power, or the presentation of Russian power around the world and influence, a key conduit to mobilizing the domestic population.”
Rogan points to Putin’s training in Soviet times as the defining part of his personality. Putin served in the KGB for years before switching to the political side of government.
Biden heads to Geneva having waived sanctions on one of Putin’s pet projects, a gas pipeline to Germany. Recent cyber-attacks by Russian hackers have crippled parts of American infrastructure.
The White House insists the sit-down in Geneva is because of Putin’s bad behavior, not in spite of it.
“We’re not seeing conflict with Russia, we want a stable, predictable relationship,” said Biden during an address to troops in the U.K.
“I think there is a limit to how much credibility that kind of statement has because ultimately, if you are trying to enforce a change in bad behavior, in international politics, you tend to resort to things like sanctions, obviously, at the greatest end, military force,” said Rogan.