Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the criminal cases against former US President Donald Trump are a political vendetta that shows the grassroots corruption in the country.
“As for the persecution of Trump, for us what is happening in the current conditions, in my opinion, is good because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach democracy to others,” Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, eastern Russia.
“Everything that is happening with Trump is the persecution of a political rival for political reasons. That is what it is. And he is standing up to public opinion in the United States and around the world,” he added.
Opinion polls indicate that the former president is, by far, the strongest contender to become the Republican Party candidate for the 2024 presidential election. During his four years in the White House, Trump repeatedly boasted of maintaining a good relationship with Putin, while critics alleged that he was submissive to the Russian president.
Trump has claimed he could resolve the conflict in Ukraine within days if he regains the presidency, but has offered no details about his possible approach.
“We heard that Mr. Trump says he would solve the most serious problems in a few days, including the Ukrainian crisis. Well, this can’t bring us anything but happiness. “This is good,” Putin said.
The Russian leader indicated, however, that the poor relationship between Moscow and Washington is unlikely to change significantly regardless of who occupies the White House.
“What to expect in the future, regardless of who the president is, is difficult to say, but it is unlikely that anything will change radically,” said Putin, who said that the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden has instilled a strong bias against Russia and that “they will find it very difficult to turn this ship.”
Russia will also hold presidential elections in 2024. Putin sounded cautious on Tuesday when asked whether he would run for another term after holding power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000.
“We will talk about it” after parliament sets the date for the elections, he said.
Associated Press writer Jim Heintz in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed to this report.