Russian officials are reportedly open to a summit between President Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden. However, the White House recently imposed sanctions on Russia over cyberattacks and U.S. election interference. Putin, for his part, is ramping up the rhetoric, expelling American diplomats, and amassing forces on Ukraine’s border.
“Although Putin is an autocrat and very capable of thwarting any democratic efforts, he’s not without some concerns,” Dr. Bob Stein, political science professor at Rice University, said. “If [Putin] sees a challenge from the U.S. and a challenge from the NATO allies, he knows that could undermine his economy and undermine his own power.”
Stein says Putin is not afraid to take action, like he did six years ago.
“During the Obama administration, Putin was very aggressive. It was during Obama’s watch that the Russians moved into Crimea and didn’t get much of a rebuff either from the U.S. or from NATO other than some economic sanctions,” He added.
Stein says any action Putin takes will be to project strength to his own people. The Russian President doesn't want to look weak against the United States.