It's a complicated history that goes back to the early days of Biden's career in the Senate.
In the 1980s, Biden was one of the leading voices calling for the U.S. to engage with the Soviet Union. He argued that the U.S. needed to 'build bridges' with Moscow in order to better understand the Soviet Union and its people. Biden's efforts helped lead to the 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned land-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers.
In the 1990s, as the Soviet Union collapsed, Biden was a key figure in the U.S. response. He was instrumental in getting financial assistance to Russia and other former Soviet republics. And he helped broker the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which gave Ukraine security assurances in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, Biden was one of the loudest voices condemning Moscow. He called Russian President Vladimir Putin a 'thug' and accused him of trying to 're-establish the Soviet empire.'
Biden has also been critical of Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But even as he's been critical of Russia, Biden has also sought to improve relations with Moscow.
In March 2016, he met with Putin in Moscow. And in December 2016, he traveled to Ukraine to meet with President Petro Poroshenko.
Biden has said that he believes the U.S. and Russia can find common ground on issues like fighting terrorism and reducing nuclear stockpiles. And he's called for the U.S. to work with Russia to end the war in Syria.
Joe Biden has a long history with Russia, dating back to the early 1990s. Biden first visited Russia in 1992 as a member of the U.S. Senate, and he has returned numerous times since. Biden has been critical of Russia's actions in Ukraine and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but he has also sought to improve relations between the United States and Russia. In 2011, Biden oversaw the reset in relations between the two countries. And as Vice President, Biden played a key role in negotiating the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which Russia supported. more recently, Biden has called for more aggressive action in response to Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Despite the current tensions, Biden has said that he believes it is important to maintain a dialogue with Russia. In 2018, he proposed a plan to improve relations between the United States and Russia, but it was ultimately rejected by the Trump administration.