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

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to scientists on the sidelines of the Future Technologies Forum at the World Trade Centre in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 14. (AP)

MOSCOW, Feb 15, (AP): President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would prefer to see US President Joe Biden win a second term, describing him as more experienced and predictable than Donald Trump – even though Moscow strongly disagrees with the current administration’s policies.
Putin’s comments during an interview with Russian state television Wednesday were his first about the upcoming US presidential election, likely to pit Biden against Trump. They come at time of heightened tension between Russia and the West – and deep disagreements in the US 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,” Putin said, when asked which candidate would be better for Russia. “But we will work with any US leader whom the American people trust.”
The comments were rare praise for Biden, a fierce critic of the Russian leader who has frequently lauded Trump. At a campaign rally Wednesday night, Trump appeared to embrace Putin’s criticism, saying: “Putin is not a fan of mine.”
And Putin did refer to his disagreements with 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.
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 the US under Biden’s leadership, have sent Kyiv weapons and other military aid to fend off Russia’s attack.
Trump, meanwhile, recently called into question U.S. 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 the US does not play the pivotal role in NATO that it does now.
Trump’s statement sharply contrasted with Biden’s pledge “to defend every inch of NATO territory.” Biden accused Trump on Tuesday of having “bowed down to a Russian dictator.”
In the interview, Putin described NATO as a “US foreign policy tool,” adding that “if the US thinks that it no longer needs this tool it’s up to it to decide.”

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