Biden’s foreign policy will be similar to Obama’s, says Lavrov

Russian foreign minister, whose ties with Obama administration were strained, expects president-elect to follow same path.

US-Russia ties under the Obama administration were strained, in part due to US sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine [File: Michael Dalder/Reuters]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he believes US foreign policy under Joe Biden would be similar to that seen under President Barack Obama, especially on Iran and climate change.

US-Russia ties under Obama were strained, in part due to US sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.

Lavrov in 2017 described the ex-president’s administration as “small-hearted and revengeful … They put this time bomb in US-Russia relations. I didn’t expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner.”

The Kremlin said on Monday it would wait for the official results of the US presidential election, which was held on November 3, before commenting on its outcome, and that it had noted incumbent Donald Trump’s announcement of legal challenges related to the vote.

While Moscow remains tight-lipped, there have been hints over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s views on both Trump and Biden.

In early October, Putin said he had noted “sharp anti-Russian rhetoric” from Biden, and said Moscow would work with any US leader but praised Trump for saying he wanted better ties.

Putin added he was encouraged, however, by Biden’s comments on a key nuclear arms control treaty.

“Candidate Biden publicly said he was ready for an extension of New START or to reach a new treaty to limit strategic … weapons, and this is a very serious element of our cooperation in the future,” Putin said.

A few weeks later, the Russian leader appeared less friendly towards Trump and perhaps warmer on Biden, saying he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden’s past business ties with Ukraine or Russia, marking out his disagreement with one of Trump’s attack lines in the US election.

Trump used the campaign debates to accuse Biden and his son Hunter of engaging in unethical practices in Ukraine.

No evidence has been verified to support the allegations, and Joe Biden has called them false and discredited.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies