Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting

Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDemocrats find a tax Republicans can support Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections MORE on Friday expressed optimism in working with President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE ahead of their planned summit next week, saying he believed the sitting president would not make any “impulse-based movements.” 

The remarks came in an NBC News interview in which Putin discussed the divergent approaches and personalities between Biden and his predecessor, former President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE, who was accused throughout his presidency of cozying up to the traditional U.S. adversary. 

Putin told NBC ahead of his meeting with Biden next week — which will be the first between the world leaders since Biden took office — that Biden is “radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man.” 


“He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” he said of Biden. "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 U.S. president."

The Russian leader, however, argued that Trump is “an extraordinary individual, talented individual,” adding that these traits are what allowed him to “become U.S. president.” 

"He is a colorful individual,” Putin told NBC’s Keir Simmons. “You may like him or not. And, but he didn't come from the U.S. 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."

Biden so far has said he aims to take a much harsher stance toward Russia than Trump, who drew backlash after his July 2018 summit in Helsinki with the Russian leader when he publicly sided with Putin’s denials that Russia interfered in U.S. presidential election two years earlier, despite evidence from U.S. intelligence agencies. 

In a break from Trump’s approach, Biden has indicated that he plans to use his upcoming summit with Putin as an opportunity to confront the Russian leader on a range of issues, including recent cyberattacks on the U.S. by suspected Russian groups, as well as Moscow's continued military presence near the Ukrainian border. 


Biden will also have the opportunity to discuss the White House’s condemnation over Russia’s treatment of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as seek Russia’s cooperation on issues like climate change, nuclear arms control and the coronavirus pandemic. 

The meeting could also bring talk on reporting this week from The Washington Post, which noted that current and former U.S. and Middle Eastern officials said Russia was preparing to give Iran an advanced satellite system that would improve its military spying capabilities. 

Putin dismissed the report in Friday’s NBC interview, calling it “nonsense.” 

"We have cooperation plans with Iran, including the military and technical cooperation," he explained. "It’s just fake news. At the very least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing, those who are speaking about it probably will maybe know more about it. It’s just nonsense, garbage.”

The interview comes on the first day of the Group of Seven summit in the United Kingdom, during which Biden said he aims to display to Russia and China a united alliance between the U.S. and Europe.