The Jerusalem Post

Biden-Putin summit in Geneva: Where they disagree and where they might compromise


GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Don’t expect a major breakthrou­gh at a summit on Wednesday between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpar­t, Vladimir Putin, a US official said Tuesday, given relations between Washington and Moscow are their most strained in years.

“We’re not expecting a big set of deliverabl­es out of this meeting,” a senior official told reporters aboard Air Force One. The two leaders are expected to talk for four of five hours, the US official said.

Both leaders say they hope

the Geneva meeting, their first in-person encounter since Biden became president in January, can lead to stable and predictabl­e relations, even though

they remain at odds over everything from Syria to Ukraine.

Despite their disagreeme­nts, they could make some modest progress.


Ransomware attacks by criminals reportedly linked to Russia that have twice targeted critical American infrastruc­ture are a concern for the US.

The FBI has not disclosed any evidence showing Russian government involvemen­t in the attacks on US fuel transporte­r Colonial Pipeline Co. and meatpacker JBS SA of Brazil, and Putin says the idea that Russia was responsibl­e is absurd.

But Biden intends to bring up the issue and has suggested he wants Russian authoritie­s to crack down on such cybercrimi­nals. Putin has said Moscow would be willing to hand over suspects if any deal cuts both

killed in conflict zones. If Bensouda has been hard on Israel, she has also been hard on the US, the UK, Russia and many African nations.

These internatio­nalists tend to criticize Israel, the US and just about any country that uses force, not from antisemiti­c or anti-American motives per se, but because they believe the world

would be more peaceful if Israel and the US used less force.

This ideologica­l group tends to downplay the role of terrorism and aggressive nondemocra­tic countries in destabiliz­ing and threatenin­g Israel and other countries, assuming that simple dialogue can resolve conflicts.

In that spirit, Bensouda confessed to the in 2016 that her office was less focused on achieving peace or balance between the contending parties than in achieving justice for its victims.

While justice for victims is important, that kind of philosophi­cal focus is often too ready to ignore the potential destabiliz­ing impact of such prosecutio­ns.

However, a recent decision Bensouda issued regarding the Philippine­s may provide Israel some hope.

Although Bensouda has moved to open a full criminal probe against the Philippine­s, she also issued her most pragmatic statement to date about potential limits on the probe in light of the ICC’s limited diplomatic support and resources.

Looking into the future, Bensouda wrote: “My term as prosecutor will end shortly. Any authorized investigat­ion in the Philippine­s will fall to my able successor, Mr Karim Khan, to take forward.”

“In this context, it is clear that how the Office, under his leadership, will set priorities concerning this investigat­ion will need to take into account the operationa­l challenges arising from the continuing pandemic, the severe limitation­s on the ICC’s available resources, and the Office’s current heavy work commitment­s,” she said.

“The Court today stands at a crossroads in several concurrent situations, where the basis to proceed is legally and factually clear, but the operationa­l means to do so are severely lacking,” Bensouda wrote. “It is a situation that requires not only prioritiza­tion by the office… but also open and frank discussion­s with the Assembly of States Parties, and other stakeholde­rs of the Rome Statute system, on the real resource needs of the Court.”

“There is a serious mismatch between situations where the Rome Statute demands action by the Prosecutor and the resources made available to the office,” she said.

Bensouda’s term was characteri­zed by slow-moving cases, only about 10 conviction­s and criticism from all sides.

Some critics said she opened too many cases against African countries.

However, when Bensouda opened a case against the US, the Trump administra­tion sanctioned her and some of her staff, and it slammed the court for going after Israel.

The Biden administra­tion removed the sanctions, but it still criticized the ICC for pursuing both the US and Israel.

 ?? (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) ?? PROTESTERS HOLD a banner during a demonstrat­ion against the summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva yesterday.
(Denis Balibouse/Reuters) PROTESTERS HOLD a banner during a demonstrat­ion against the summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva yesterday.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Israel