Speed Reads

a little flatteery

Biden breaks with Obama to call Russia a 'great power'

A little bit of flattery can go a long away sometimes. 

President Biden has made it clear in the weeks preceding his highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Switzerland that he intends to stand his ground and speak bluntly about what he expects from the Kremlin during the discussions. But there's always room for some give and take in these situations. So, in his brief initial remarks before the talks kicked off Wednesday, Biden offered his counterpart a boost, referring to the U.S. and Russia as "two great powers."

The description is a change from the rhetoric of former President Barack Obama who, somewhat bitingly, referred to Russia as a "regional power" after it invaded Crimea in 2014, and Washington has often attempted to downplay Moscow's global role over the years, CNN's Kylie Atwood writes. But Biden appears to think it's wiser to operate on level ground when dealing with Putin.