International Order & Conflict
Commentary

Interview with Kawa Hassan on Biden Putin Summit in Geneva

This interview was originally published by Cawi Washington (Eye of Washington) Program of Voice of America Kurdish Service
Featuring Kawa Hassan

The summit will not lead to big, positive, and immediate impacts in bilateral relations. Nonetheless this is a good opportunity for both presidents to meet in person and make clear face to face their positions on a wide range of issues and conflicts. They laid out their respective red lines. For Biden the cyber-attacks are a red line, he said US will respond should Russian cyber-attacks continue- but we have to wait and see if and how Biden will respond to future attacks. Perhaps this summit may lead to some common understanding not to further worsen the situation in eastern Ukraine and maintain the status quo. 

Middle East is not a strategic priority for Biden administration while for Putin, Syria is a priority in his middle east policy. Therefore, they didn’t discuss the situation in the middle east. What is known so far is that the US will continue its support for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) but is not clear for how long. The status quo in Syria will remain until there is an agreement between US and Russia to reach a settlement for the conflict. Russia support Iran’s nuclear program to a certain extent but it is overall aim is not to make Iran a nuclear power but rather to counter America’s power in the region. For the US, Kurds in Syria and Iraq are important allies in the fight against terrorist groups, but the future of Kurdish issue in both countries depends on international developments, shifts and agreements and not on the Kurds themselves.   

The Brussels joint communiqué of Nato used a very strong language against China- it has labeled China a systemic rival that needs to be countered, while until now it sees Russia as a challenge that needs to be contained. While Russia will try to benefit from the conflict between Nato and China, it is difficult to imagine that Russia will side with the west against China.”

Full interview can be viewed here.

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