World News: History Repeats Itself with Vintage Diplomacy

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The meeting between United State President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals the desire to contain the existing tensions between the two countries while laying the necessary diplomatic foundations to focus on another objective: China.

By choosing to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, by nature a space of the most neutral that there is, Joe Biden, the President of the United States and Vladimir Putin, his counterpart, give this diplomatic meeting scrutinized from all sides the air of Cold War.

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Everything contributes to this: fresh diplomatic relations, multiple disagreements, divergent ambitions and even a place for discussion on neutral ground. So what can we expect from this summit? For many observers, it is unlikely that this Swiss halt will give birth to any fundamental decisions.

Both Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have neither the desire nor the interest to give anything away, for several reasons that are primarily geopolitical. The United States, which has just reaffirmed its attachment to the European Union through its President, knows full well that this type of declaration marginalizes a Russia that is struggling to rehabilitate itself internationally.

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On the Russian side, the idea of assuming the role of nation-victim of the United States alliance Europe is not totally ruled out because it would be a way to legitimize the future actions of Vladimir Putin's regime, especially in terms of foreign policy.

Multi-polarity and Alliances

For all that, the game of bi-politicity put forward by Joe Biden and tacitly accepted by Vladimir Putin, perhaps, with hindsight, an advantage for the two giants Russian and North American. By renewing an opposition of this kind, the United States and Russia tend to stifle the multi-polarity and then the a-polarity that international relations had highlighted in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Then, from a purely diplomatic point, this bi-polarity fixes, by definition, two blocks around which gravitate middle powers (England, Germany, France) or clearly affiliated to a defined power (Belarus, Russian-speaking Ukraine).

This fixation thus allows the two great powers to assert themselves as global powers not openly but indirectly and, commanded as they are, or would be, by the intentions of one or the other camp. From the Cold War in the text.

In order not to interfere in world international relations more than they already are, the United States thus has the hope of building a set of alliances that serve its interests in the broad sense of the term: diplomatic, economic, and financial. For Russia, the desire to pose as a single power in Eastern Europe and Caucasian, is satisfied by the map of the diplomatic world as drawn to date.

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European Union and China

Some would be surprised or even choked with indignation, but both Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are children of the Cold War. Both of them know this opposition, which is both terrifying, because it is based on the balance of terror, two mass nuclear arsenals facing each other (which is always the case), and reassuring because it is frozen in the perfect knowledge of the dramatic and irreversible consequences of a diplomatic opposition that is bound to degenerate into a military confrontation.

The new global balance that is emerging after years of complacency towards Donald Trump's Russia and the latter's desire to get out of international relations, however, leave two actors, one politely, on the sidelines, the European Union (despite repeated support from Joe Biden), the other deliberately marginalized, China, officially set up as a second North American concern via NATO,(North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

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Moreover, in the end, it is not forbidden to think that behind the American-Russian antagonism, controlled and under control (Russia having many advantages not to agitate on the diplomatic level while the prices of oil from which it blithely derives substantial profits), does not hide a much deeper and more worrying opposition between China and the United States...



Bio: Olivier Longhi an opinion columnist for, has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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