What I learned in the room with Vladimir Putin

During my time in government, we made four trips to Moscow and one to Sochi, Russia, meeting with Putin repeatedly. The last was emblematic of the rest: Putin kept Kerry waiting for hours, finally calling him to the Kremlin at 10 p.m.

This time around, the protocol has Putin arriving first, then Biden.

In my book on diplomacy, "Window Seat on the World," I detailed one of Putin's prime tactics: Icing his guests lets the former KGB officer throw them off their game. Kerry toured St. Peter's Square and sat in his hotel room waiting for Putin to receive him.

Another way Putin instantly puts American counterparts on the defensive is to air grievances — including over a perceived lack of respect for 8 million Russian soldiers killed fighting the Nazis in World War II.