I understand Russia being confused. Was it Biden's big mouth again or a good cop-bad cop move? Regardless, Biden remarks weren't smart foreign policy.
Two days later the following appears in The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration considered Russia a "great power" and wanted it to be a strong and prosperous country, in an apparent effort to reassure Moscow that the White House remains committed to efforts to "reset" bilateral relations.
Mrs. Clinton made the remarks in response to a question about Vice President Joe Biden's suggestion, during a Wall Street Journal interview published on Saturday, that Russia's weakening economy was likely to make it more amenable to cooperate with the West on national security issues.
"We view Russia as a great power," Mrs. Clinton said on NBC News's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "Every country faces challenges. We have our challenges, Russia has their challenges. There are certain issues that Russia has to deal with on its own."
She said the Obama administration didn't believe it has an upper hand in its ties with Moscow, and noted that Mr. Biden had been the first senior administration member to publicly call for a "reset" in the two countries' relationship, in an address in Munich, Germany, in February.
Mr. Biden's comments to the Journal raised concerns in Moscow, which questioned whether he was speaking for the U.S. government. "The question is: Who is shaping the U.S. foreign policy -- the president or the respectable members of his team?" asked Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko. He said it was "perplexing" that Mr. Biden delivered the comments just as the U.S. was talking about a reset in relations.