ISSN 2330-717X

By Calling Putin And Not Raising Navalny Issue, Biden Has ‘Betrayed Democratic Russia’ – OpEd


Aleksey Melnikov, a member of the bureau of the Yabloko party, says that Joe Biden has “betrayed” Russian democrats by calling Vladimir Putin whom the US president had earlier acknowledged is a murder and shown himself to be “a cynical politician interested only in his own country.”

“America is a global power which promotes the values of freedom and human rights,” or so Russian democrats had always assumed. But “now with regard to Russia, there is an end to this … From now on [what Putin does in Russia] is our internal affair. Only our suffering, pain and struggle ( at

What this means is that Russian democrats should no longer pay attention to what America says. “We here must solve our problems,” Melnikov says, “without considering their opinion and ignoring their understanding of what is happening inside our country.” Any meeting of the two leaders will be about “drawing spheres of influence.”

It will be about Realpolitik and a balance of forces, one that may have some positive impact as far as Ukraine is concerned but “inside Russia,” as a result, then “the powers that be will be able to do what they want.” American will act as if these things don’t “concern” it, the Yabloko leader says.

“We are democratic Russia; from now on for America we are no one at all. Biden has given us a lesson. America no longer has allies within Russia. Biden has destroyed them.”

Other Russian democrats have been somewhat less radical in their criticism, but many are upset that Biden in calling Putin did not bother to raise the Navalny case, a failure that is “a poor sign” that sends precisely the wrong message to the Kremlin leader (

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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