Russia’s Four Diplomatic Encounters and a Summit (Pavel K. Baev, The Jamestown Foundation)

In late September, while President Joseph Biden struggled with a multitude of domestic issues and President Vladimir Putin sought opportunities to score points on the international arena, the United States and Russia accomplished a series of potentially consequential diplomatic exchanges and probes at the medium–high level. In Geneva, the two sides held rounds of consultations on strategic stability and cybersecurity; both countries’ top military commanders met in Helsinki; and Victoria Nuland, the US Under Secretary of State for political affairs, planned a visit to Moscow. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s veteran foreign minister, did not cross paths with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, in the corridors of United Nations General Assembly; but he did find time in his schedule to meet with leaders of the US Jewish community to discuss Russian-US relations (, September 24). In turn, Putin avoided Washington during this time, setting his sights instead on a different horizon, and ended his COVID-19 quarantine to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Sochi (, September 29).

Russia’s Four Diplomatic Encounters and a Summit – Jamestown