This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is ready to work with any U.S. president, regardless of who wins next week’s election.
“We are analyzing all developments [around the upcoming U.S, presidential election on November 3]. We will accept any decision made by the American people and will work with any administration. I hope that the decision will be well-weighed,” Putin told a plenary session of the VTB Capital Forum Russia Calls on October 29 in Moscow.
The Russian president declined to talk in depth about the election noting that “whatever I say, our [U.S.] partners may cling to to prove Russia’s imaginary meddling into the election process in the United States.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the aim of helping Donald Trump, including by hacking into the campaign of his rival, Hillary Clinton. Moscow denies that charge.
In September fresh warnings arose of Russian hackers targeting the 2020 election, including the indictment of a Russian man stealing American identities as part of election meddling and the imposition of sanctions against a Russian-linked politician for spreading disinformation.
Trump is currently campaigning for reelection against Democrat Joe Biden and Russia has denied it is again attempting to interfere in the campaign.
Some analysts believe Biden will be tougher on Russia than Trump, but also less unpredictable to deal with, which could perhaps make him more open to forging deals in areas such as nuclear arms control.
According to Putin, there are pluses and minuses in the current climate of Russian-U.S. cooperation.
“The current [U.S.] administration has imposed sanctions on Russia 46 times on our companies and economic operators, which is the highest number ever…. But as strange as it may look, at the same time, despite the restrictions, the volume of commodities’ turnover [between Russia and the United States] increased by 30 percent in the last year,” Putin said.