Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he hoped his United States counterpart, Joe Biden, will be less impulsive than his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Speaking in an interview with the US TV channel NBC News on Friday, just a few days before their much-awaited first summit next week, the Russian head of state described Biden as a "career man" who has spent "virtually his entire adulthood in politics" while Trump, he said, was "talented" and a "colourful individual."
"That's a radically different kind of person. 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, regarding his expectations on relations between Russia and the US under Biden's presidency.
Both Putin, who openly admitted to supporting Trump in 2016, and the former president have expressed admiration for each other in the past, and Trump notoriously accepted Putin denying interfering in US elections.
When asked about Biden labelling him as a "killer" during an interview in March in response to a series of murders of Putin opponents, Putin said he had heard dozens of similar accusations, adding: "This is not something I worry about in the least."
Biden has said he will not be seeking conflict with Russia when he meets with Putin in Geneva on 16 June at the end of his first international trip, but he will raise a number of US concerns. At the top of the list will be the suspected Russian interference in US elections and cyberattacks.
"We want a stable and predictable relationship... but I've been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities," he added.
Before meeting Putin, Biden will be in Brussels from 13 to 15 June for the NATO summit, to meet King Philippe and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and to have lunch with the heads of the European Insitutions.
The Brussels Times