Putin says Russia prefers Biden to Trump because he’s ‘more experienced and predictable’


MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia would prefer to see U.S. President Joe Biden win a second term, describing him as more experienced than Donald Trump.

Speaking in an interview with a correspondent of Russian state television, Putin declared that he will work with any U.S. leader who is elected, but noted unequivocally that he would prefer Biden’s victory when asked who would be a better choice from the point of view of Russia.

“Biden, he’s more experienced, more predictable, he’s a politician of the old formation,” Putin said. “But we will work with any U.S. leader whom the American people trust.”

Asked about speculation on Biden’s health issues, Putin responded that “I’m not a doctor and I don’t consider it proper to comment on that.”

Biden’s team worked to alleviate Democratic concerns over alarms raised by a special counsel about Biden’s age and memory. They came in a report determining that Biden would not be charged with any criminal activity for possessing classified documents after he left office.

Putin noted that the talk about Biden’s health comes as “the election campaign is gaining speed in the U.S., and it’s taking an increasingly sharp course.”

He added that allegations of Biden’s health problems were also circulating at the time when they met in Switzerland in June 2021, adding that he witnessed the contrary and saw the U.S. leader in a good shape.

“They talked about him being incapacitated, but I saw nothing of the kind,” Putin said. “Yes, he was peeking at his papers, to be honest, I was peeking at mine, not a big deal.”

At the same time, Putin noted that he sees the Biden administration policy as wrong.

Russia-West ties have plunged to their lowest levels since the Cold War era after Putin sent his troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

“I believe that the position of the current administration is badly flawed and wrong, and I have told President Biden about that,” Putin said.

Putin has claimed that he has sent troops into Ukraine to protect Russian speakers there and to prevent a threat to Russia’s security posed by Ukraine’s bid to join NATO. Ukraine and its Western allies have denounced Moscow’s action as an unprovoked act of aggression.

Putin argued that Moscow was forced to act after Ukraine and its allies refused to fulfill a 2015 agreement to grant more powers to separatist territories in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists launched a rebellion in 2014.

“We only can regret that we didn’t act earlier, thinking that we are dealing with decent people,” Putin said.

Asked about Trump’s statement on Saturday, in which he said he once warned he would allow Russia to do whatever it wants to NATO member nations that are “delinquent” in devoting 2% of their gross domestic product to defense, Putin responded that it’s up to the U.S. to determine its role in the alliance.

Trump’s statement sharply contrasted with Biden’s pledge “to defend every inch of NATO territory,” as the alliance commits all members to do in case of attack. It shocked many in Europe, drawing a pledge from Poland, France and Germany to bolster Europe’s security and defense power.

Putin noted that Trump’s statement followed his policy during his first term when he prodded NATO allies in Europe to increase their defense spending.

“He has his own view on how relations with allies should develop,” Putin said about Trump. ”From his point of view, there is some logic in this, while from the point of view of the Europeans, there is no logic at all, and they would like the U.S. to keep carrying out some functions they have fulfilled since the formation of NATO free of charge.”

He described NATO as a “U.S. foreign policy tool,” adding that “if the U.S. thinks that it no longer needs this tool it’s up to it to decide.”

Asked about his impressions from his last week’s interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Putin said he expected Carlson to be more aggressive. Putin used the interview to push his narrative on the fighting in Ukraine, urge Washington to recognize Moscow’s interests and press Kyiv to sit down for talks.

“I expected him to be aggressive and ask the so-called tough questions, and I wasn’t only ready for it but wanted it because it would have given me a chance to respond sharply,” Putin said.

Carlson didn’t ask Putin about war crimes Russian troops have been accused of in Ukraine, or about his relentless crackdown on dissent.

“He didn’t allow me to do what I was ready for,” Putin said, describing Carlson as a “dangerous man.”

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