Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped US President Joe Biden would act less impulsively than his predecessor, Donald Trump, who described him as talented and exceptional, in an interview with NBC.
On Friday, before his first meeting on Wednesday in Geneva with the US president at the end of his first foreign trip, Putin said Biden was a “professional man” who had spent his life in politics that had both advantages and disadvantages.
The Russian president ignored comment on Biden’s description of him as a “murderer”, and also rejected their description of him as a “Hollywood macho”.
But he said relations between Moscow and Washington “have deteriorated to an all-time low in recent years”, but Putin expects to be able to work with Biden.
According to a translation by NBC News, Putin added, “I very much hope for this, yes, there will be some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will be no impulsive moves on the part of the current US president.”
As for Trump, Putin emphasized that he was an exceptional and talented, but moody figure, “You may or may not like him. But he did not come from the American establishment.”
Biden plans to raise a host of US complaints about Russia, including alleged Russian interference in the presidential election and hacking, at the upcoming summit with Putin.
Putin has publicly admitted that he endorsed Trump in the 2016 election, which he won against Hillary Clinton, and Trump has also revealed his admiration for the Russian leader.
In the first meeting between Trump and Putin, Trump seemed convinced that Russia would not interfere in the US elections in his favour.
But incumbent President Biden has said he is not treating Putin as an illusionist, calling him a “murderer” in light of a string of high-profile deaths including the killing of Boris Nemtsov, who was a vocal critic of the Kremlin.
Putin did not respond to a question from CBS about the fact that he was a “murderer”, but he laughed and did not give a yes or no answer.
“During my period, I have been used to attacks of different strength from all angles and from all areas under different pretexts and reasons, and none of them surprise me,” he said, adding: “The term ‘murderer’ is like the term ‘macho’ is common in Hollywood.”
Such rhetoric, he said, “is part of American political culture where it is considered normal. By the way, it is not considered normal here.”
Putin also dismissed a report in the Washington Post that Russia plans to provide Iran with an advanced satellite system that would allow it to track potential military targets, calling it “fake news.”
“At least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing,” the Russian president said, speaking from the Kremlin. “It is just nonsense nonsense.”
According to interviewer Keir Simmons, Putin also denied any knowledge of cyberattacks on the United States, and Biden called for a deal with Russia on cyberspace.