Russian President Vladimir Putin says the cases against former US President Donald Trump are political revenge that shows the fundamental corruption of American politics.
Trump, the frontrunner Republican candidate for the 2024 United States presidential elections, is facing a series of criminal cases. He is charged with, among other things, trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat to President Joe Biden.
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Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum gathering in Russia’s Vladivostok on Tuesday, Putin said: “As for Trump, for us what is happening in today’s conditions, in my opinion, is good because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others democracy.
“Everything that is happening with Trump is the persecution of a political rival for political reasons. That’s what it is. And this is being done in front of the public of the United States and the whole world.”
During his four years in office, Trump repeatedly praised his good relations with Putin and claimed more recently he could resolve the Ukraine war in a matter of days if he regains the presidency.
“We hear Mr Trump say he will solve pressing problems in a few days, including the Ukrainian crisis. Well, this cannot but bring happiness. This is good,” Putin said.
‘Bestial face of American imperialism’
But he said the idea Trump had special ties with Russia was “complete nonsense”.
However, Putin reiterated that Russia’s relations with the US are unlikely to change regardless of who leads the country.
“What to expect from the future, no matter who the president is, it’s hard for us to say, but it’s unlikely that anything will change radically,” Putin said.
He claimed the Biden administration has a strong bias against Russia and “it will be very difficult for them to somehow turn this whole ship” in the other direction.
Relations between Moscow and Washington, already strained during Trump’s presidency, have plunged to post-Cold War lows under Biden following Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022.
Putin, who served in the Soviet security services, said the legal efforts against Trump “show who we are fighting … As they said in Soviet times, ‘the bestial face of American imperialism’.”
‘The train has left’
Putin added Western efforts to “restrain” China’s ascent as a global power were doomed to fail as he hailed Moscow’s “amazing” relations with Beijing.
“Today the West is trying to restrain the development of China because it sees that China, under the leadership of our friend [President Xi Jinping] … is developing by leaps and bounds. This leaves them shocked,” said Russia’s leader.
“They are doing everything to slow down the development of China, but this will not be possible. They are too late. That’s it, the train has left.”
In separate comments, Putin said the West’s decision to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions was a crime, and while such supplies might prolong the war, they would not change its outcome.