Russia's Vladimir Putin hopes US president Joe Biden less impulsive than his predecessor Donald Trump

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said he expects he can work with US President Joe Biden.
  • Putin and Biden are expected to raise a number of issues when they meet in Geneva.
  • Biden has previously said he is under no illusions about Putin and described him as "a killer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced hope Friday that US President Joe Biden will be less impulsive than his predecessor Donald Trump, ahead of his first summit with the new US leader.

In an interview with NBC News, Putin described Biden as a "career man" who has spent his life in politics.

Though he described relations with the United States as having "deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years," Putin said he expects he can work with Biden.

"It is my great hope that, yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting US president," he said, according to a translation by NBC News.

"I believe that former US president Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual... He is a colourful individual. You may like him or not. But he didn't come from the US establishment," Putin was quoted as saying.

ALSO READ | Trump surveillance of Democrats sparks abuse of power claims

Biden plans to raise a range of US complaints, including over purported Russian election interference and hacking, in the summit with Putin on Wednesday in Geneva at the end of the new president's first foreign trip.

Putin has openly admitted that in the 2016 vote he supported Trump, who had voiced admiration for the Russian leader. At their first summit, Trump infamously appeared to accept Putin's denials of election interference.

Biden has said he is under no illusions about Putin and has described him as "a killer" in light of a series of high-profile deaths including of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

Asked directly if he is "a killer," Putin chuckled but did not give a yes or no answer.

"Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different calibre and fierceness, and none of it surprises me," he said, adding that the term "killer" was a "macho" term common in Hollywood.

Such discourse "is part of US political culture where it's considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here," he said.

Putin also dismissed as "fake news" a report in the Washington Post that Russia is planning to supply Iran with an advanced satellite system that would allow it to track potential military targets.

"At the very least, I don't know anything about this kind of thing," the Russian leader said, speaking from the Kremlin. "It's just nonsense garbage."

According to interviewer Keir Simmons, Putin also denied any knowledge of cyberattacks on the United States, and called on Biden to strike a deal with Russia on cyberspace.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Should Covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory for employees in workplaces?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it is the responsible thing to do
47% - 6173 votes
No, vaccination should be an individual choice
43% - 5638 votes
No, but those who are unvaccinated should have to work from home
11% - 1391 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.