On March 17, 2021, during an interview with ABC, George Stephanopoulos asked President Biden “So you know Vladimir Putin and thinks is a killer?” and he responded, “I do”. The Russian President answered by suggesting a live-broadcasting discussion that has not taken place. Moscow has recalled the Russian ambassador for consultation.
Relations between the US and Russia have been perceived as a core matter of international relations. They are highly scrutinized and often made the front page of global news. This verbal exchange between President Biden and President Putin was no exception.
The press and many observers analyzed this exchange as an opposition of style and as power-play. An understanding of US-Russia relations, which is mostly a geopolitical opposition (Carnegie qualified it of “mutual antagonism”), is highly dominant in the international arena. It has been exacerbated by power considerations such as NATO’s expansion, mutual accusations of electoral or internal interference, sanctions, and spying. This led to a pessimistic understanding of US-Russia interactions as continuously degrading (Orlova, 2020).
The consequence is that cultural differences are mostly framed antagonistically and through mutual dialogue/cooperation, which is sought mostly to fulfill their own interests. Recalling the UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted without a vote, CD4Peace outlines the importance of acceptance of cultural diversity as a key for fostering a culture of peace. It recalls that both US and Russian embassies perceive culture as a sphere able to promote sustainable cooperation. CD4Peace encourages the opportunity for cultural dialogue between the US and Russia. It is illustrated by a painting of the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington (RCC), displayed in the Russian-American Room.