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Putin on the Anti-Russia ‘Bipartisan Consensus’ Constraining Trump

Oct. 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—On Oct. 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview on Rossiya television network, including some extensive discussion on U.S.-Russian relations and the U.S. elections. The transcript of the interview is posted on the Kremlin website. Rossiya TV journalist Pavel Zarubin raised the question of the U.S. elections and mentioned that Biden had accused Trump of being “Putin’s puppy.” Putin replied:

“We are the onlookers; we do not interfere in the process.... By the way, when anyone tries to humiliate or insult the incumbent head of state, in this case in the context you have mentioned, this actually enhances our prestige, because they are talking about our incredible influence and power. In a way, it could be said that they are playing into our hands, as the saying goes.”

Putin also ventured his election advice that voters study the real positions of someone who would occupy such a powerful position:

“I would like to say openly that the positions of presidential candidates in any country, including a great power such as the United States, must be assessed by the voters. In this particular case, by the people of the United States....

“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.”

Putin responded to a question about his preferences between the two U.S. candidates at length beginning with President Trump: “We know that the incumbent President Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in the improvement of Russian-American relations. And we certainly appreciate that very much. From the very beginning, when he said so during the first iteration of the fight for the White House, we certainly heard him.

“But we must look objectively at what has been happening in recent years. Yes, indeed, we have achieved a lot on a bilateral basis. I must say this. Without having to list all the positive steps we have taken to build Russian-American relations.... But the intentions that President Trump spoke about earlier have not been fully realized.

“I believe that this is largely due to a certain bipartisan consensus on the need to contain Russia, to curb our country’s development. Moreover, as they say, this is a comprehensive position, which means containment on all tracks. ... And this, as we understand it, essentially limits the current administration.

“Furthermore, 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. 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.”

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