“We have a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years,” Putin told NBC News in an interview broadcast Friday with an English translation of his remarks.
“We’re not seeking conflict with Russia,” Biden said. “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.”
Praise for Trump
In the NBC interview, Putin praised former President Donald Trump as “an extraordinary individual, talented individual,” and called Biden “radically different”.
“Well even now, I believe that former US President Mr Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become US president,” Putin said.
“He is a colourful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn’t come from the US establishment, he had not been part of big-time politics before, and some like it, some don’t like it, but that is a fact.”
Putin added that Biden “is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.”
“That’s a different kind of person, and 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.”
Russian officials told the Reuters news agency they regard the summit as an opportunity to hear from Biden directly after what one source close to the Russian government said were mixed messages from the US administration that took office on January 20.
Asked by NBC about Biden calling him a killer in an interview in March, Putin said he had heard dozens of such accusations. “This is not something I worry about in the least,” Putin said.