Biden, Putin must focus on nukes, cybersecurity, climate at Geneva Summit: Green Party

By Ekaterina Chukaeva

Washington: US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin should first and foremost focus on strategic stability at the summit in Geneva as both nations have continued to modernize their nuclear forces, Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the Green Party of the United States, told Sputnik, adding that it would be “a big step back from the brink” if the two agreed to revive the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
The landmark meeting between the two world leaders is due to take place in Geneva on June 16. The presidents are expected to discuss strategic stability, the situation in Ukraine and Belarus, among other issues.
“Strategic nuclear stability is the most important issue they should address as both sides modernize their nuclear forces. If they could make progress on renewing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty that has been abandoned, it would be a big step back from the brink,” Hawkins, who was the party’s presidential nominee in the 2020 presidential election, said.
The INF treaty was signed in Washington on December 8, 1987, by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan. The treaty went into effect on June 1, 1988. Nearly 30 years later, in 2018, Donald Trump announced his plans to leave the deal and formally pulled out in 2019.
Along with the now-defunct INF treaty, Biden and Putin should also discuss cybersecurity, Hawkins believes.
“The US should take up the longstanding Russian offer to negotiate such a treaty, although we have no indication Biden is anymore open to negotiating a cybersecurity treaty than previous presidents going back to George W. Bush,” he said.
Hawkins added that the presidents could also “make progress on scaling back the military games and saber-rattling that make building peace in their regional conflicts along the NATO/Russian frontier, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere all the more difficult.”
Both Putin and Biden will likely criticize the human rights violations of the other side, and the criticism is deserved by both, Hawkins continued.
“But progress on the life or death issue of the new nuclear arms race and the climate emergency should not be linked to waiting for progress on human rights,” he noted.
As the date of the milestone summit nears, analysts are holding their breath expecting what the talks will bring for the two powers and the whole world. Putin has said that he will try to raise US-Russian relations from the rock bottom during his meeting with Biden. Biden, in his turn, said that Washington and its allies are ready to address what they deem to be Russia’s challenges to security and sovereignty, but the US does not seek conflict with Moscow and the upcoming talks will present an opportunity to discuss areas of cooperation. (Sputnik)

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