“Already Broken”: US Elections Likely Not to Change Relations with Russia | American News

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ANearly four years in which the Kremlin has dominated US politics, topics of collusion, Russian interference or Ukrainian scandals have been largely absent from the campaign agenda as Election Day approaches.Moscow may still be intending to intervene: FBI Director Christopher Wray said last month that the office had seen “very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020” – mainly involving misinformation with the primary purpose of disparaging Joe Biden. And the indictment by the United States of six Russian military intelligence hackers last week served as a reminder of the potential threat.

However, as Biden enters the final days of the campaign with a significant lead, Putin appears to be covering his bets. The Russian president has explicitly refused to amplify Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations about Biden’s son Hunter and his past business dealings in Ukraine, noting that there was “nothing seen criminal.” Putin also pointed to possible common ground with Democrats on social democratic ideology and arms control.

The Russian leader and the former vice president certainly know each other well from past encounters, though the relationship lacks the warmth that Trump says permeates his bond with the Russian leader.

“I’m looking you in the eye, and I don’t think you have a soul,” Biden told Putin at a meeting in 2011, according to a report he gave The New Yorker. “He looked at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand each other.'”

Biden didn’t dwell on the well-known topics of Trump’s weak spot for Putin or the Kremlin meddling – in part because the coronavirus cast such a long shadow on the election and Biden’s team has the feeling that voters are tired of hearing about Russia.

“The most resonant issues for American voters right now are Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, and the dangers of white nationalism; in contrast, Russian electoral interference in 2016 seems more distant for those who are just trying to make ends meet, ”said Michael Carpenter, foreign policy adviser at Biden’s time as vice president who keeps in touch with the countryside.

It’s also possible that “Russiagate” was never a major issue winning the vote: Trump supporters dismissed the accusations as “fake news” and many of his opponents were more focused on other issues.

“Russia is a media and a conversation in Washington. My students don’t care about Russia; they care about Black Lives Matter and MeToo, ”said Nina Khrushcheva, Russian-American professor of international affairs at the New School in New York.

Questions about Biden’s son’s trade relationship in Ukraine have failed to resonate far beyond Trump’s central base, with a recent attempt to reopen Biden’s allegations of alleged wrongdoing in Ukraine largely falling flat.

While Moscow has indeed helped put Trump in the White House, their man has done little to improve bilateral relations over the past four years, despite his personal praise for Putin. But his contempt for Western alliances and self-interest in naked America first is something the Kremlin appreciates – and may explain why officials in Moscow want to see Trump win a second term.

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