Are Trump and Putin good friends

America - Biden ends the cuddle course with Putin - and puts a company from St.Gallen on the sanctions list

Biden ends the cuddle course with Putin - and puts a company from St.Gallen on the sanctions list

The White House holds the Russian government responsible for the attack against Alexei Navalny. A company based in Buchs SG is also affected by the sanctions.

Joe Biden increases the pressure on Moscow. Because there is little doubt in the eyes of American intelligence services that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned by his own government in August 2020, Washington imposed sanctions on seven senior Russian officials on Tuesday.

In close consultation with the EU, 14 companies would also be sanctioned that would help Russia to manufacture biological or chemical warfare agents. The only Swiss company on this list: ChimConnect, with headquarters in Buchs SG and a branch in Constance.

According to the sparse internet presence of the privately held company, ChimConnect specializes in the delivery and manufacture of laboratory equipment and chemicals “all over the world”. The company also has production facilities in Russia and Kazakhstan, they say. ChimConnect has been entered in the commercial register of the canton of St.Gallen since the beginning of 2012.

The White House also called for the release of Navalny again on Tuesday. The announced measures are only a first step, said a government representative during a background discussion with journalists. Because in his first conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was held by telephone on January 26, Biden announced that Washington would take a harder line. Biden said after the meeting that he told Putin that America would no longer tolerate Russia's aggression.

Trump sabotaged the tough pace of his own administration

With this new policy, Biden wants to remove any ambiguity that shaped the bilateral relationship between America and Russia during the reign of his predecessor. Donald Trump's government passed numerous sanctions against Russian citizens and organizations in the vicinity of the Kremlin, for example because of Russia's influence on the 2016 presidential election.

But in public statements, the Republican Trump repeatedly sabotaged this hard-handed policy by finding words of praise for his counterpart. Allegedly, the two of them got along very well when they talked over the phone. The talks between Trump and Putin were like conversations between good friends in a bar, reported the Washington publication “Politico” in February, citing a translator from the White House.

Biden doesn't want a new beginning with Putin

Biden, it was said in Washington on Tuesday, is not aiming for a new start in relations with Putin. The Democrat probably still remembers the "reset" of bilateral relations in President Barack Obama's first year in office, which ultimately led to a hardening of the fronts. The White House is also not interested in an escalation, said a government representative. Rather, the White House wants to hold Putin accountable for violations of clearly defined international norms.

As a next step, there is a threat of sanctions in connection with the Russian hacker attack on the IT company SolarWinds. Microsoft President Brad Smith recently called this attack the "biggest and most sophisticated" attack the world has ever seen. Among other things, the hackers succeeded in gaining access to computers belonging to the Ministry of Finance and Security.

There have also been calls in the American parliament that Russia should be held accountable for the destabilizing role it is playing in Afghanistan. Last year the New York Times reported that Taliban fighters were financially compensated by a Russian secret service for attacking and killing Western soldiers. The Trump administration rejected this article as an "invention".