Russian President Vladimir Putin recently compared the Democratic Party’s platform with communism and said the shared values could form the “ideological basis” for developing ties between Russia and the U.S. if Joe Biden becomes president.
Putin, sitting for an interview with Russia’s state-owned Rossiya TV on Oct. 7, compared the two main presidential candidates in the U.S. and evaluated each candidate in terms of how Russia could work with them as president. He said despite some criticism of Russia, the Democratic Party holds values he identifies with as a former member of the Soviet Communist Party for 18 years.
“As for the Democratic candidate, what can I say? We can hear rather sharp anti-Russian rhetoric as well. Regrettably, we have become used to this,” Putin said. “But some things are worth mentioning. First, the Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to Social Democratic ideas, if compared to Europe. And it was from the Social Democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved.”
“I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years, or more precisely 18 years,” Putin continued. “I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party’s ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values. Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative.”
Putin also offered both favorable and critical views of both Biden and President Donald Trump, and suggested he would be willing to try working with either candidate.
Discussing Biden, Putin said, “Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty.”
Putin added, “This is a very serious element of our potential collaboration in the future, therefore, I would like to repeat what I have said more than once before. We will work with any future president of the United State, the one whom the American people give their vote of confidence.”
Discussing Trump, Putin favorably noted, “Incumbent President Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in the improvement of Russian-American relations and we certainly appreciate that very much.”
Putin did say that Trump’s stated intentions of improving Russian-American relations “have not been fully realized,” due, in his assessment, to what he called a “bipartisan consensus on the need to contain Russia, to curb our country’s development.”
Sharing further criticism of Trump, Putin said, “The greatest number of various kinds of restrictions and sanctions were introduced during the Trump presidency. Decisions on imposing new sanctions or expanding previous ones were made 46 times.”
Putin also said, “The incumbent’s administration withdrew from the INF treaty. That was a very drastic step. After 2002, when the Bush administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, that was the second major step. And I believe it is a big danger to international stability and security.”
Putin’s comments come despite a U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia is seeking to denigrate Biden’s candidacy. During his interview, Putin denied Russian interference in the U.S. election process, however.