Putin Backs Biden for Re-Election Over Trump, Claiming He Is ‘More Experienced and Predictable’

The comments were rare praise for Biden, a fierce critic of the Russian leader who has frequently lauded Trump.

Russian Presidential Press Service via AP
President Putin at Moscow, June 26, 2023. Russian Presidential Press Service via AP

MOSCOW — President Putin says that Russia would prefer to see President Biden win a second term, describing him as more experienced and predictable than President Trump — even though Moscow strongly disagrees with the current administration’s policies.

Mr. Putin’s comments during an interview with Russian state television Wednesday were his first about the upcoming American presidential election, which looks likely to pit Mr. Biden against Mr. Trump. They come at time of heightened tension between Russia and the West — and deep disagreements in America about how best to counter Russia and help Ukraine, which is fighting Moscow’s forces.

“Biden, he’s more experienced, more predictable, he’s a politician of the old formation,” Mr. Putin said, when asked which candidate would be better for Russia. “But we will work with any U.S. leader whom the American people trust.”

The comments were rare praise for Mr. Biden, a fierce critic of the Russian leader who has frequently lauded Mr. Trump. At a campaign rally Wednesday night, Mr. Trump appeared to embrace Mr. Putin’s criticism, saying: “Putin is not a fan of mine.”

And Mr. Putin did refer to his disagreements with Mr. Biden.

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

Mr. Putin has claimed that he 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 the NATO alliance.

Ukraine and its Western allies have denounced Moscow’s action as an unprovoked act of aggression. Several NATO countries, chief among them America under Mr. Biden’s leadership, have sent Kyiv weapons and other military aid to fend off Russia’s attack.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, recently called into question American funding for Ukraine and said he once warned he would allow Russia to do whatever it wants to NATO member nations that are “delinquent” in investing in their own defense.

Those comments sent shock waves through Europe, where some leaders are preparing for a time when America does not play the pivotal role in NATO that it does now.

Mr. Trump’s statement sharply contrasted with Mr. Biden’s pledge “to defend every inch of NATO territory.” Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump on Tuesday of having “bowed down to a Russian dictator.”

In the interview, Mr. Putin 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 speculation on Mr. Biden’s health issues, Mr. Putin responded that “I’m not a doctor and I don’t consider it proper to comment on that.” He added that Mr. Biden seemed in fine shape when the two leaders met in Switzerland in June 2021.


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