Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs:
“There is nothing new in Biden’s promise to toughly confront Russia. The new American president has repeated all the clichés and patterns of the Obama administration. In fact, the White House continues the line on the undeclared Cold War 2.0. The only question is whether we will reach the state of an ice age in Russian-American relations. Taking into account the current world coordinate system, further degradation in mutual dialogue can have very dangerous consequences.
Judging by Biden’s statements, Washington intends to increase the pace of interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, including our country. This is totally unacceptable. An ultimately imperative tone is unacceptable to Russia. We will not allow anyone to dictate how we conduct domestic and foreign policy.
At the same time, on a number of issues, constructive relations between the Russian Federation and the United States are possible. These are, first of all, the fight against COVID-19, strategic stability and security, arms control. And Biden’s first steps in these directions are encouraging. Literally this week, there was an exchange of notes on the extension of START-3. We hope for further mutual understanding in these areas.
On the whole, Russia has consistently expressed its readiness to normalize interaction with the United States, but exclusively on an equal and parity basis. And this issue remains the priority of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs. On February 8, we intend to hold the next roundtable on American issues behind closed doors. Leading American experts are invited to the discussion. “