April 17, 2024

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Putin makes surprise choice to back Biden over Trump in rematch: 'More experienced and predictable'

Putin makes surprise choice to back Biden over Trump in rematch: 'More experienced and predictable'

Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise choice in the upcoming US presidential election, saying he prefers “predictable” President Joe Biden over Donald Trump, who has praised Putin over the years.

“[Biden] “He is a more experienced and predictable person, an old-school politician,” Putin, 71, said in an interview. Pavel Zarubin on Russia 1 channel. But we will work with any American president whom the American people trust.”

Russia has been widely accused of interfering in the 2016 elections by several US intelligence agencies. It is widely believed that Putin is interested in stoking internal divisions in the United States.

Throughout his presidency, former President Donald Trump, 77, faced accusations from his critics that he was too friendly with the Russian leader.

Even after his presidency, Trump continued to praise Putin, calling him a “genius” and “smart” after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Despite his rhetoric, the Trump administration has taken some tough measures against the Kremlin, overseeing harsh sanctions on Moscow and sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, something Trump has implemented. His predecessor, former President Barack Obama, refused to do so.

President Biden has not held a public personal meeting with his Russian counterpart since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Getty Images

Biden, 81, took another step forward in the wake of Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine, raising sanctions to another level and amassing more weapons for the war-torn ally.

Trump has since expressed doubts about the aid being sent to Ukraine, suggesting that writing the loan would be a smarter approach, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

More recently, he sparked a backlash when he attacked NATO members who do not commit to spending 2% of their gross domestic product on defence.

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I said: Everyone will pay. They said, “Well, if we don't pay, will you still protect us?” I said: Certainly not. “They couldn’t believe the answer,” Trump recalled at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, over the weekend.

Donald Trump previously predicted that he would be able to end the war in Ukraine in one day. Fox News

He then noted that “one of the presidents of a large country” asked him whether the United States would defend that country from a Russian invasion if “they didn’t pay.”

Trump responded, saying: “No, I will not protect you.” “In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You have to pay. You have to pay your bills.”

On Tuesday, Biden criticized Trump for being evasive on whether the United States would support NATO allies even if they did not meet their commitments.

“Imagine a former president of the United States saying that,” Biden said. “The whole world heard it. And what’s worse is that he meant it. No other president in history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator.”

President Biden pledged to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repel Russian invaders. AP

Biden pledged that he “will not walk away” from the 31-member bloc and described Trump's comments as a “dangerous, shocking and frankly un-American signal to the world.”

Trump later doubled down.

“Can someone tell our uninformed president that NATO should pay its bills! “They are now paying a fraction of what we are paying for the disaster in Ukraine, which, if we had a real president, would never have happened.” Trump posted on Truth Social.

President Biden has sought to pressure Republicans to greenlight another major supplemental aid package for Ukraine. AFP via Getty Images

Putin is widely expected to win his re-election bid for another six-year term to remain Russia's president, which is scheduled to take place in March.

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Both Trump and Biden are considered among the most likely candidates for their party to be nominated to be the standard bearer for the presidential elections scheduled for November 5.


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