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Monday, July 15, 2024

Putin weighs in on Biden-Trump debate

The Russian leader has only seen “fragments” of the face-off and still prefers a more predictable candidate to win

The US is a major world power, so its internal affairs inevitably affect global issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, commenting on the recent election debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The Russian leader admitted he had seen fragments” of last week’s debate between the Democratic and Republican rivals, but noted that he has more important things to do than follow all the twists and turns of the US electoral process, when asked about it at a press conference following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Read more: Biden Faces Crucial Days After “Disastrous” Debate, NYT Reports

“I have enough to do, so I don’t really follow what’s going on there, especially through the comments in the media. They always have certain preferences: someone is for, someone is against,” Putin said

Earlier this year, Putin claimed it would be better for Russia if Biden were reelected, describing the incumbent as “a more experienced and predictable person… a politician of the old sort” and waving off claims of the US leader’s cognitive decline.

Asked whether the debate, described as “disastrous” for Biden even by allies, has somehow affected his opinion, Putin insisted that “nothing has changed,” adding “didn’t we all know what might happen?”

Read more: Legitimate to question Biden’s mental health – Pelosi

“But this is, in fact, their internal business,” Putin stated, reiterating Moscow’s readiness to work with whoever the Americans elect – but noting that the world cannot be completely “indifferent” to US politics.

In general, of course… it is impossible to turn away from this, especially since the United States remains a great power with well-known capabilities in the field of economics, security, and military,” Putin explained. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Washington can also affect global affairs, including the situation in Ukraine, he noted.

Putin said he takes Trump’s statements “quite seriously,” when asked about the former US president’s repeated claims that he knows how to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine, and recent reports that he might halt NATO expansion.

“Of course, I am not familiar with his possible suggestions on how he is going to do this – and this, of course, is the key question. But I have no doubt that he says it sincerely, and we support it,” Putin stated.