Russian President Vladimir Putin displayed his “classic” whataboutism play at the news conference after his meeting with US President Joe Biden concluded, former Top Russia Adviser to President Trump Fiona Hill said.
“His tone was dispassionate and matter of fact and slightly cynical,” she said. “This whataboutism is a classic Putin play as well, just turning every question back to either to the questioner or also to things that are happening in the United States or whichever country that he's meeting with.”
Hill said it was clear that Putin wanted to keep the tone “generally cordial.”
“There was no chest thumping about the meeting,” she added.
The big takeaway from Hill: Putin will not let up on the dirty tricks or on the whataboutism. This is at least a start to try to get some kind of anchor in the relationship to set the tone on the stage for other meetings.