Saturday, June 5, 2021

In Meeting Biden, Putin wants a Yalta but Will Get a Malta, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 3 – In his meeting with US President Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin wants a new Yalta with the US speaking for the West acknowledging his right to dominate Ukraine and the rest of the post-Soviet space; but he will get a new Malta, in which the terms of Moscow’s retreat from such demands will be specified, Andrey Piontkovsky says.

            Ukraine will be the key question at the Putin-Biden meeting now scheduled for June 16, the Russian commentator says, just as Poland was Yalta meetings between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill 75 years ago. Western actions then meant that “Yalta” has entered the language as a synonym for unjustified concessions (

            Putin wants to achieve a repetition of this outcome, but he is making a mistake in assuming that any Western leader can give him what the peoples of the former Soviet republics have clearly rejected. By his aggression toward them, he has lost all of them; and the West isn’t willing or able to help him reverse this situation.

            The Kremlin leader apparently believes that he is half way toward his goal because the American president who earlier called him “a murderer” has greed to meet with him as the leader of another great power, Piontkovsky says. “But Biden is coming to the meeting as the leader of the West/Free World which includes Ukraine within it.”

            Moreover, as Biden “loves to repeat,” he and the West have adopted “an unwavering position on Ukraine” and its defense against continuing Russian aggression. Consequently, what Biden plans to use the meeting for is to indicate to Putin what an enormous price – “political, economic and military” – he will pay if he continues to act as he is now.

            “In the best chekist and bandit traditions,” of course, the Russian commentator continues, “Putin will deny that he has such intentions and at the same time will demand payment for giving them up.” As a result, “Geneva will be not a Yalta-2 but a Malta-2,” a place where Moscow’s capitulation to reality will be outlined and insisted upon.

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