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Deputy chairman of the Russian security council, Dmitry Medvedev does not expect ties between Moscow and Washington to get any better when President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
In a wide-ranging op-ed of more than 4,600 words published by the state news agency Tass on Saturday, Medvedev took aim at the U.S. electoral system, expressed fears that Washington was an “unpredictable” partner and was concerned at the rhetoric expressed by Biden in the past.
Medvedev served as Russian president between 2008 and 2012 and his comments offer the most comprehensive outline so far of the Kremlin’s thinking about what the incoming U.S. administration will mean for Moscow.
“Biden has not yet said anything positive about Russia. On the contrary, his rhetoric has always been openly unfriendly, harsh, even aggressive,” wrote Medvedev in the piece headlined “America 2.0 after the election.”
“He has repeatedly stated that Russia is the biggest threat to the United States in terms of undermining our security and alliances,” he said, adding that Biden’s team “includes politicians who hold similar views and have no interest whatsoever in improving relations between Moscow and Washington.”
Medvedev said that Moscow expects it “highly likely that the United States will consistently pursue an anti-Russian policy,” noting that “the trajectory of relations between Washington and Moscow has been steadily going downhill, no matter who was at the helm in the White House.”
In a pessimistic assessment, Medvedev said that “we can hardly expect any reciprocal steps from the new American administration. Our relations are likely to remain extremely cold in the coming years. And right now we do not expect anything but the continuation of a tough anti-Russian policy.”
The New START Treaty restricting nuclear weapons which was agreed under Barack Obama when Medvedev was president, expires next month and will be a key foreign policy issue for the incoming U.S. administration.
However, complicating matters for Biden is the announcement by Russia to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows surveillance flights over military facilities, after the U.S. also left the pact.
But Medevev said that U.S participation in such agreements are “even more important” and he said he hoped “the U.S. is trying to restore to a certain extent its image as a reliable strategic partner.”