Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin: at the origin of the clash
The diplomatic altercation between Biden and his Russian counterpart has been flailing for a few days. Between the two presidents, the exchanges have gone up a notch, setting the stage for a diplomatic crisis that is going to be more tenacious than during the Obama presidency. However, the verbal joust between the two presidents seems to have its roots further back than it seems.
The background of the virtual altercation
On March 17, President Biden called the Kremlin's number one "a killer" whose "price he will soon pay". The interview with the new resident of the White House by ABC, however, only revealed a deep crisis that already existed between the two personalities. While the Russian president called for a "live broadcast discussion" with Biden the next day, that doesn't mean the spats weren't in full swing outside the spotlight.
The reasons for the rising tension include accusations of cyberattacks by Russia, the Crimea situation as well as that of Russian opponent Navalny, etc. With Volodin Vyacheslav's support for his President stating that "Biden has insulted the citizens of our country", this altercation seems to be turning into an affair of state.
The legacy of the Obama administration
At the risk of displeasing him, Biden's victory has not necessarily pleased the entire international community. And Putin made that clear by delaying his congratulatory call to the winner of the 2020 U.S. election for several weeks. Biden in turn did not help matters. For his first symbolic call, he preferred the Canadian Prime Minister to the Russian President.
Already under the Obama administration, relations between Biden and Putin were not very friendly. We still remember that Obama's second in command did not blink when he told his current Russian counterpart that "I don't think you have a soul". The desire previously displayed by the two personalities to work on thorny issues may now run into serious difficulties. It would not be surprising if relations between the two countries became less conciliatory than in the Trump era.