INDIANAPOLIS — Local political experts weigh in about the meeting between President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
It’s the most highly anticipated talk of Biden’s international trip and his first meeting with Putin since taking office.
Local experts expect this will lay the groundwork for future change. Since it’s the first, they don’t anticipate anything major from the Wednesday meeting, but they do expect the pair to talk about important issues.
We know the meeting will be between Biden, Putin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and his Russian counterpart, along with translators.
Some major issues expected to come up are the human condition, influence in elections and cyber security.
Political Science Associate Professor with the University of Indianapolis Laura Wilson says we’ve had a difficult time with many of these issues.
“Even to be able to address something like cyber security, which has been a real challenge for our country coming from Russia specifically. If this conversation can lead to a dialogue of change for the future, that in and of itself is invaluable,” Wilson said.
“Because of the widespread implications and because of the fact that we know it’s specifically in Russia, and they’re not exclusive, but they have played a role and we believe Vladimir Putin has played a role in that, as a topic this is one of the things that is paramount for Biden to address. It’s a major concern for Americans.”
According to the experts, this is President Biden’s first opportunity to be able to make real change.
“It would be naive to not remember the kind of contentious relationship we’ve had with Russia before. This is a history between our country and their country. So I don’t expect shouting necessarily, but I also wouldn’t imagine they’d come out best friends,” Wilson said.
Editor and Publisher of IndyPolitics.org Abdul-Hakim Shabazz says the conversation will be cordial, but those underlying issues must be discussed under the politeness.
“It’ll be interesting because you’ve got Joe Biden who’s big on personal relationships with foreign leaders. That’s kind of his strong point. But you’ve also got Vladimir Putin who wants to be taken seriously and sort of return Russia to its sort of Soviet Union greatness. So we’ve got sort of two competing interests right then and there,” said Shabazz.
“Joe Biden is probably going to make it very clear to Vladimir Putin, and say hey you know what, we need you guys to crack down on the hackers that are coming out of Russia. Where as Putin’s response has always been, hey, if they’re not breaking Russian law, that’s not my problem.”