Dhaka August 06 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 06 2022
Putin and Erdogan in Sochi – what the two leaders discussed and agreed upon
The Russian and Turkish presidents adopted a joint declaration covering issues ranging from grain exports to fighting terrorism
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Russia’s southern city of Sochi on Friday. The two leaders spent over four hours discussing a broad range of issues, ranging from grain exports to bilateral trade and counter-terrorism efforts. RT outlines the major points of the talks.
The Istanbul grain deal should be fully adhered to
Both Putin and Erdogan commended the roles played by each other’s countries in reaching a deal on the export of Ukrainian agricultural goods in July. Turkey and the UN helped Moscow and Kiev to negotiate an agreement to allow maritime traffic from Black Sea ports to resume after it was halted amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed that the deal should be “fully implemented” in both “spirit and letter,” a joint statement adopted by Putin and Erdogan said. The unimpeded export of Russia’s grain, as well as fertilizers and the raw materials to produce them, should also be facilitated.
The UN has specifically promised to work towards removing obstacles to Russian grain and fertilizer exports. On Friday, Moscow said that restrictions imposed by the US and its allies were still disrupting its grain harvests and could exacerbate the global food crisis.
Trade and energy cooperation boost
The two presidents discussed a broad bilateral agenda as they pledged to further cooperate in the fields of trade, transport, agriculture, finance, tourism and construction. Moscow and Ankara agreed to “meet halfway” when it comes to each side’s needs in the trade and energy sectors, the joint statement said.
Putin praised the fact that trade volumes between the two nations grew by 57% last year and doubled in the first five months of 2022. He also noted that Russia supplies Turkey with all types of energy resources, including oil, gas and coal in a stable and predictable manner, “without any interruptions.”
Russia and Turkey also agreed on a new payment mechanism that will entail Ankara paying for a part of the Russian gas it buys in rubles, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak told journalists after the meeting. “This is a really new stage; new opportunities, including for further development of our financial relations,” he said.
Erdogan welcomed Russia’s role in building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, adding that the project is “very important” for the nation’s economy and is expected to cover 10% of Turkey’s energy needs. The plant, which is being built according to a Russian design, is expected to come into operation in 2023.
Regional stability and the fight against terrorism
The Turkish president also said that Russia plays a “special role” on the international stage and particularly in the fight against terrorism. “Solidarity” between Moscow and Ankara is key for safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East, he added.
In the joint statement, Putin and Erdogan reaffirmed their commitment to the political process in Syria. The two sides agreed it was important to maintain the “political unity and territorial integrity” of this Middle Eastern nation, the document said. Moscow and Ankara confirmed their readiness to “act together in full coordination” to fight any terrorist organizations. The presidents also discussed the situation in Libya, agreeing that Libyans themselves should play the key role in the political developments of their country. Russia and Turkey said they supported the “sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity” of Libya.
The two leaders also agreed to further develop bilateral relations on the basis of “mutual respect” and in full accordance with each other’s international obligations despite “the current regional and global challenges.”
Anti-Russian sanctions endanger global food security – Moscow
The restrictions make it harder to harvest crops for export, Russia’s agriculture minister said
Sanctions are disrupting grain harvests in Russia and could exacerbate the food crisis overseas, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev has said, adding that the country may have to revise its export plans.
Russian farmers are having trouble meeting their harvest plans, the minister said on Friday, as reported by the Agriculture Ministry’s Telegram channel.
He cited severe weather conditions in some regions, including heavy rain and winds, as well as “difficulties” with imports of spare parts for farm equipment as reasons why the yield has been “significantly lower” than last year.
“All this creates risks for reaching the target of harvesting 130 million tons of wheat. Of course, we will completely meet the needs of our market. It won’t be a problem,” Patrushev said.
“However, if we fail to meet our [harvest] plans, we will be forced to review our export plans of 50 million tons. This, in turn, could negatively impact the global crops market.”
According to the ministry, Patrushev warned that the amount of available wheat will decrease globally this season due to a number of factors, including droughts in the US and Europe, floods in Australia and extreme weather in India. All of this, combined with “logistical restrictions,” creates “serious risks to global food security,” Patrushev said.
The UN has warned that the disruption of grain exports from Ukraine, another major wheat producer, would hurt African and other developing states, creating an “unprecedented global hunger crisis.”
After the recent Russia-Ukraine deal brokered by the UN and Turkey, a grain ship left Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa on Monday, the first such occurrence since the start of the conflict.
On Friday, three ships loaded with grain left Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Reuters reported, citing the Turkish Defense Ministry and witnesses.
Many countries, including the US and EU, imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.
Russia explains why it won’t use nukes in Ukraine
Moscow says its nuclear doctrine is very clear and the current conflict in Ukraine does not meet any of its criteria
The allegations about Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine are “untenable and baseless,” the deputy head of Moscow’s delegation to the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Andrey Belousov, said on Friday in New York.
“This is impossible since Russian doctrinal guidelines strictly limit emergency situations in which the use of nuclear weapons is hypothetically possible, namely in response to aggression involving weapons of mass destruction, or in response to aggression involving conventional weapons, where the very existence of the state is threatened,” Belousov explained.
“None of these hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine,” he stated.
The Russian diplomat also rejected insinuations about Moscow placing its nuclear deterrent on “high alert,” explaining that the current state of “increased vigilance,” with extra personnel on duty at strategic command posts, is “completely different” from an actual “state of high alert of strategic nuclear forces.”
Belousov argued that any warnings about a “serious risk of nuclear war” ever voiced by Russian officials in the context of the Ukrainian crisis were directed at NATO, as a way to deter Western countries from direct aggression, as they “dangerously balance on the edge of a direct armed confrontation with Russia.”
While he did not name the accusers, Belousov’s response comes after the Ukrainian delegation to the NPT conference on Wednesday accused Moscow of “nuclear terrorism” and “openly threatening the world with its ability to use nuclear weapons,” while citing rhetoric by the “Russian media, think-tanks and experts.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also accused Russia of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling,” to “those supporting Ukraine’s self-defense,” in his address on Monday. Blinken claimed that the US is a much more “responsible” nuclear-armed state, and “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners.”
In his letter to participants of the NPT conference on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that there would be no winners in a nuclear war, and it must never be allowed to happen.
US President Joe Biden declared this week that Washington is ready to expeditiously negotiate “a new arms control framework” with Moscow. However, according to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov the US has yet to come up with any proposals regarding an agreement that could potentially replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The landmark New START remains the only major arms control agreement between Moscow and Washington still in force. In early 2021, the deal was on the brink of expiration, but it was ultimately salvaged shortly after Biden’s inauguration, when Washington finally agreed to Moscow’s calls to prolong the deal without any preconditions. It is currently set to expire in 2026.
Exchange of prisoners, contacts with US: statements Lavrov made in Cambodia
PHNOM PENH, August 5. /TASS/. Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Friday.
The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.
Here are the key statements Lavrov made while in Cambodia.
Russia is ready to discuss exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within a channel, negotiated by the two national leaders: “If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”
On contacts with Blinken
Despite the statements made by the White House that the US Secretary of State will “buttonhole” the Russian Minister if he has the chance, Blinken displayed no interest in a contact: “I did not see that he was interested in buttonhole me or whatever, all my buttons are intact,” Lavrov said.
On the upcoming UN General Assembly
The US manipulates their obligations as the UN headquarters host country. Recently, the Russian Foreign Minister sent a letter on this issue to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “who must make the headquarters host country behave properly.”
Moscow does not know yet, what will be the level of Russia’s representation during the upcoming UN General Assembly: “Whether it will be a delegation from Moscow, or if […] our American colleagues will obstruct the arrival of our delegation in the spirt of their ‘love of freedom,’ we’ll see,” Lavrov said.
“Russia cannot be not represented in the UN, and it is not up for the Western states to decide that,” he added.
On Blinken’s reference
The US Secretary of State referred to the UN Charter for the first time “in many years,” when he said that territorial integrity and sovereignty of states are sacred: “apparently, one can refer to the UN Charter as well, when they want to justify those totally undermining actions which the UN have undertaken and continue to undertake to create threats for Russia from the Ukrainian territory.”
On Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
There were many “scintillating statements” during the meeting about the situation in the Taiwan Strait after Nancy Pelosi’s visit: “there were rather sharp remarks made by our Chinese partners, whom we support. And there were counter statements by the US and Japan that it is none of China’s business, and that the declared policy of supporting the ‘one China’ principle does not mean that they have to ask permission from Beijing to visit Taiwan. That’s some strange logic, to be sure.”
On the US policy in the Asia-Pacific
The creation of such structures as AUKUS by the US poses a threat to ASEAN’s open formats, and the military bloc itself is being used “to promote NATO interests in the Indo Pacific Region.”
Recently, Washington proposed an alternative to the ASEAN economic partnership, with only seven out of ten ASEAN member states invited: “this is a display of not inclusiveness, but exclusiveness of the proposed structures, where only those are being invited to who will not create too many problems, who will not emphasize their point of view too much, and will instead agree to the point of view of those who make decisions, effectively, alone.”
On Iran nuclear deal
Russia supports Iran on the nuclear deal, and the US must return to the initial agreements: “the Americans seek to make an amended plan a subject of a new agreement, while the Iranians insist that everything must be just as it was approved back in 2015. I believe that Iran’s position is totally legitimate.”
On situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
Moscow has not yet seen Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s proposals on details of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, but “any side […] of course is entitled to propose additional initiatives,” Lavrov said.
US attempts to shift responsibility for food crisis to Russia absurd, says envoy
WASHINGTON, August 6. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov slammed as absurd Washington’s attempts to shift responsibility for the global food crisis to Russia.
“Attempts to shift all responsibility to Russia are absurd. As always – a lot of lies here. Statements are unprofessional, without proper analysis and understanding of the situation, or rather the absence of desire to understand the essence of the problem,” the Russian envoy said on Friday, when asked to comment on the recent statements by head of the US Agency for International Development Samantha Power.
The Russian ambassador said the shortage of agricultural products was due to the consequences of the pandemic, disruptions in supply chains, inflation, accelerated urbanization, accumulated soil fatigue, climate change and other factors.
“A separate place in this row takes the `array’ of illegal anti-Russian sanctions. The restrictions are deliberately designed to confuse and intimidate foreign companies and complicate their cooperation with Russian enterprises as much as possible,” the Russian embassy quoted Antonov as saying on its Telegram channel.
Despite this, Antonov said, Russia persevered with its efforts to strengthen food security. Since 2003, Russia has been making contributions to the fund of the UN World Food Program. The country acts as a reliable and responsible supplier of products to the world agricultural market, he said. And Russia is actively working with foreign colleagues, Antonov added. He pointed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent tour to Africa, namely Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. During Lavrov’s tour, Russia’s partners confirmed the rich, mutually beneficial and fruitful nature of the meetings, Antonov said.
“Washington, it seems, could not come to terms with its absence among the participants of the quadrilateral initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food from the ports of Ukraine of July 22. It is significant that American officials generally prefer not to talk about the signing of a memorandum between Russia and the United Nations on the same day to promote the export of Russian agricultural products,” Antonov remarked.
“For our part, we can only welcome the resumption of agricultural shipments across the Black Sea. We hope that the Ukrainian side and its curators in the West will not try to undermine this process as well as they will stop pretending to be `saints’ when it comes to prioritizing supplies to starving developing countries. After all, as far as we know, two of the three dry cargo ships that left Ukrainian harbors this morning are heading to Europe,” the Russian diplomat concluded.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Ukrainian strike in Donetsk kills 3 civilians – officials
At least three people were killed and five injured after a bus in the city of Donetsk was hit by a projectile
At least three civilians were killed in the Ukrainian shelling of northwestern Donetsk, the local territorial defense force said on Friday. One of the Ukrainian projectiles hit a regular bus carrying people home from work, authorities said, adding that the bus was “destroyed.”
Photos and videos that surfaced on social media showed the charred wreckage of the bus that was apparently moving along a street in Donetsk when it was hit by a Ukrainian projectile fired by a ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launcher.
Three people died in the incident and five more received injuries, local authorities said.
Earlier on Friday, Donetsk authorities claimed that Ukrainian forces had shelled several areas in the city, including a hospital. At least one rocket made a direct hit through the roof, images from the scene suggest. The attacks left at least one person dead and fourteen others injured, officials in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said.
Kiev denies the accusations that its forces launch daily artillery attacks on civilian targets in Donetsk. It claims the shelling is done by DPR and Russian forces to discredit Ukrainian troops.
Statement of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on situation around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and Energidar city
On August 5, 2022, between 16.20 and 17.24, Ukrainian armed formations carried out three artillery strikes on the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and Energidar city. A total of twenty 152-mm shells were fired.
The shelling was carried out by one of the units of the 45th AFU Artillery Brigade from firing positions near Marganets, on the opposite bank of the Kremenchuk reservoir controlled by the Ukrainian army.
As a result of the shelling, Energodar city is partially without electricity and water supply, part of the equipment of power unit No. 3 is de-energized at the NPP, and the generating capacity of power unit No. 4 is reduced. In addition, hydrogen pipeline was damaged, resulting in a hydrogen flare ignition at the hydrogen plant. The fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services.
Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the oil and fuel facility and the oxygen plant nearby, thus avoiding a larger fire and a possible radiation accident at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
What makes this provocation by the Kiev regime especially cynical is that it took place at the time of the United Nations-sponsored international conference in New York on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
We call on international organizations to condemn the criminal acts of the Zelensky regime in carrying out acts of nuclear terrorism.
In the event of further provocations at the nuclear power plant, all responsibility for the disruption of its operation will lie squarely with the Kiev regime.
Amnesty International says Ukrainian forces’ fighting tactics endanger civilians
WASHINGTON. Aug 5 (Interfax) – Rights activists from the Amnesty International non-governmental organization (NGO) said that they have collected information indicating the use by the Ukrainian Armed Forces of fighting tactics that endanger civilians and violate international humanitarian law.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said.
“Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law,” Callamard was quoted as saying on the Amnesty International website.
“Throughout these investigations, researchers found evidence of Ukrainian forces launching strikes from within populated residential areas as well as basing themselves in civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages in the regions,” Amnesty International said, adding that some of these incidents are corroborated by satellite imagery.
According to the organization, Amnesty International researchers also witnessed Ukrainian forces using hospitals as de facto military bases in five locations. In a number of other cases, soldiers were resting in hospitals. In other cases, soldiers were firing from near the hospital.
“Using hospitals for military purposes is a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” the organization said.
The NGO’s representatives collected evidence that “the Ukrainian military has routinely set up bases in schools in towns and villages in Donbas and in the Mykolaiv area.” At 22 out of 29 schools visited, Amnesty International researchers found soldiers using the school premises.
According to Ukrainian media outlets, the conclusions presented by Amnesty International have prompted a negative reaction from President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials of Ukraine.
Midterms: How ‘Toxic’ Biden & His ‘Inept’ Cabinet Could Strip Dems of Congressional Seats This Fall
Ekaterina Blinova, Sputnik News
Joe Biden has become increasingly toxic for the Democratic Party which is bracing itself for the gloomy November mid-terms. Yet, all is not lost for the Democrats, as the GOP has a bad habit of snatching political defeat from the jaws of victory, notes the Democracy Institute’s founding director, Patrick Basham.
Sputnik: The Washington Post recently published an op-ed eloquently headlined “Quit, Joe, Quit! Biden could save the mid-terms with a one-term pledge”. Has Biden become toxic for the party ahead of the mid-terms? Could a one-term pledge really save the Dems?
Patrick Basham: Without question, Joe Biden is a very unpopular president. Not only Republican voters, but politically independent voters, too, overwhelmingly disapprove of his performance. Crucially, Biden’s critics now include several demographic groups considered part of the modern Democratic Party’s voter base and therefore essential to a successful Democratic Party or candidate’s campaign. These are young voters, Hispanic voters, and young, male Black voters. The most dramatic movement away from the Democrats is among working class Hispanic voters who blame Biden and the Democrats for the new economic recession and high inflation and also detest the Democrats’ woke, ‘progressive’ policy agenda on crime, education, and gender.
So, yes, Biden is toxic for his party in competitive races at the state and congressional levels. For example, Democrat candidates in these types of races are rejecting offers from the White House for these candidates to campaign personally with Biden in their respective states and districts. Many are using the excuse that their schedules do not permit time for an event with the president. One may be certain that, if Biden were highly popular with Americans, these candidates would be begging the White House for his endorsement and his face-to-face support in their campaigns.
The best illustration of Biden’s unpopularity is perhaps that the vast majority of Democratic voters do not want him to run for a second term in office. Nevertheless, a one-term pledge from Biden to not seek reelection in 2024 would not save his party from defeat in this November’s mid-term congressional elections. Most voters would heave a collective sigh of relief that Biden’s failed presidency would not continue beyond 2024, but they would not demonstrably reward his party for getting rid of him.
The fundamental problem for the Democrats is that the country is neither peaceful nor prosperous, which is the traditional recipe for electoral success at the national level. The American economy is in recession, inflation is high and rising, violent crime is rampant, illegal immigrants pour across the nation’s southern border, and America is spending several tens of billions of dollars to prop up the losing side of an increasingly unpopular European war.
American voters want to punish the Democrats for what they perceive to be a wasted two years in office. Whether Biden says he is leaving office in two or six years will not affect most voters’ calculus about how to cast their ballot this year.
Sputnik: You noted that the political problem for the Biden administration is less an ideological one than a performance-based one. What are the main reasons for the administration’s ineptitude on almost all policy fronts? Is it simply incompetence, or a bloated apparatus, problems pertaining decision-making, deep polarization between the GOP and the Dems in the US Congress or something else?
Patrick Basham: The fundamental reason that voters have soured so badly, and so quickly, on President Biden, vice-president Kamala Harris, and the Democratic-run Congress is that they appear so incompetent and also so arrogant. Voters will forgive policy mistakes if those making the mistakes are clearly well-intentioned; there is no obvious right or wrong policy choice, and the policymakers acknowledge their mistakes and learn the appropriate lessons from them.
Unfortunately for Biden, Harris, and the Democrats, none of those “get out of policy jail” cards apply to them. Both during the 2020 campaign and while in office, they have made endless blanket promises about how they would “end COVID”, “get America out of recession”, “raise real wages”, “stand up to Russia and China”, etc. In each case, to date they have failed, and often quite miserably.
Yet, no one in the administration or on Capitol Hill ever admits to a mistake or apologizes for anything. So, inflation is blamed on Vladimir Putin and Big Business, the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle is blamed on Donald Trump, the word “recession” is redefined so that officially America is not actually in one. The list seems endless.
There are many reasons for such incompetence, but three interrelated reasons stand out. First, a great many senior Biden administration officials have impressive resumes, but they lack successful track records. Biden, himself, epitomizes this problem. As Barack Obama put it once, and I am paraphrasing, “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to screw things up.” Second, a great many administration staffers are quite young – that is, in their twenties and early thirties. Many have lots of political experience, yet simply lack the real-world life experience to advise their officials and administer their portfolios properly.
Third, compared with previous Democratic and Republican administrations, within the Biden administration there appears to be a low level of knowledge about very important areas, such as foreign policy, public health, commerce, business, and law. The best illustration at present is the Ukraine-Russia conflict: most of the Biden administration’s many substantive, strategic, and tactical mistakes have occurred because throughout the administration there was, and there still is, a deep ignorance of contemporary Russia, especially Russian politics and the country’s economic strengths.
Sputnik: A Democracy Institute poll indicates that the Dems’ attempt to galvanize American voters on the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe and Ukraine crisis has so far failed. What’s behind the Dems’ miscalculation? When did the Dems start to break from reality, given that they similarly failed to predict Trump’s win in 2016?
Patrick Basham: The Democrats’ mistaken belief that the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, for example, would help their electoral cause stems from a massive misunderstanding of how abortion plays out in American elections.
Democrats think that because most Americans think abortion should be legal, they support abortion in all circumstances, which is the position of most Democrat politicians. However, although Americans do favor legal abortion during the first trimester of a pregnancy, they mostly oppose abortion during the second and third trimesters. Furthermore, pro-abortion Americans always vote in every election, and they always vote for the Democrats. So, the issue does not bring the Democrats any additional or new voters.
On the contrary, the issue actually galvanizes anti-abortion voters to support the Republicans. That is because almost all of those voters who vote solely on the basis of this issue vote Republican. In 2016, 80 percent voted for Trump over Clinton; in 2020, 90 percent voted for Trump over Biden. To make matters worse for the Democrats, these single-issue, anti-abortion voters are not habitual voters; they vote if and when the issue is on the ballot, literally or figuratively speaking. And, when they do so, as they will this year, they vote Republican.
Sputnik: The Democracy Institute’s poll shows that for the fourth month in a row, Trump leads Biden in a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 presidential contest. Likewise, the Republicans enjoy a significant advantage in voter enthusiasm across much of the country, the survey says. Does this mean that a GOP victory in November is imminent? Do the Dems still have an opportunity to turn the tables on the GOP?
Patrick Basham: It is hard to foresee anything other than a comfortable Republican victory in November. On present trends, the Republicans should gain a large majority of seats in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, the final outcome will be quite close, but the Republicans are still favored to win a narrow majority of Senate seats.
Everything is looking good for the Republicans for a couple of reasons. First, everything that can go wrong for the Democrats has done so, be it the economy, foreign policy, crime, immigration, or education. Second, the Republicans have given the Democrats and their media allies little to aim at. The Republicans have successfully kept the public spotlight on the Democrats’ poor record, rather than upon themselves and whatever they would or would not do should they be returned to power.
Third, a great many voters, to their own surprise, are comparing the Biden presidency with the preceding Trump presidency and drawing the conclusion that Trump was a much better president than they had realized and, crucially, a better president than Biden is today. Such “buyer’s remorse” can only hurt the Democrats’ chances.
Yet, all is not lost for the Democrats. There are still more than three months until Election Day and, as former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously said, “A week is a long time in politics.” The Democrats best hope is that the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot, politically speaking, during the next 14 weeks. That is an entirely plausible scenario, as the Republican Party has a bad habit of snatching political defeat from the jaws of victory!
Could the Democrats come from behind and gain victory this fall? It is certainly possible, especially in the Senate, but it is unlikely. With all of the policy problems befalling Biden and his party, and with all of the partisan enthusiasm and energy on the Republican side, the Democrats still face an uphill, quite daunting electoral challenge to catch-up with their opponents.
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