Putin reveals what he thinks of Trump in rare interview

·3-min read

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his thoughts about former US president Donald Trump in a rare interview.

Mr Putin is set to meet US President Joe Biden at a summit meeting in Geneva on Wednesday (local time).

The Russian president was asked by NBC journalist Keir Simmons what he thought of both leaders.

Mr Putin told the US news outlet he thought Mr Trump was an “extraordinary” and “colourful” individual, “otherwise he would not have become US president”.

US President Donald Trump (left) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose ahead a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018.
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose ahead a meeting in Helsinki in 2018. Source: Getty Images

“You may like him, you may not,” he told NBC.

He added Mr Trump “didn’t come from the US establishment” and “some like it, some don’t”. Mr Putin also called Mr Biden and his predecessor “radically different”.

“He (Biden) has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” the Russian leader said.

Mr Putin said he was looking forward to working with his US counterpart and despite Mr Biden calling him a "killer" in March, the Russian leader said it was not something that worried him “in the least”.

Simmons also asked Putin if he is a "killer".

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured.
Mr Putin isn't concerned by suggestions from political opponents that he's a killer. Source: NBC News

"Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness, and none of it surprises me," Mr Putin said.

The leader was also asked about several Russian dissidents whose deaths have been blamed on Moscow, including ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2006.

He dismissed the question as "verbal indigestion". He said some of those responsible for the deaths are in prison.

US-Russia summit to be held in Switzerland

Mr Biden, at the start of an eight-day visit to Europe this week, said: "We're not seeking conflict with Russia.

"We want a stable and predictable relationship... but I've been clear: The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way if the Russian government engages in harmful activities."

Swiss authorities plan to temporarily restrict airspace over the city of Geneva and to deploy up to 3000 troops and police officers as part of extra security for the summit between Mr Putin and Mr Biden.

US President Joe Biden addresses US Air Force personnel at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall in Mildenhall, England.
Mr Putin said US President Joe Biden and Trump were 'radically different'. Source: Getty Images

Switzerland’s seven-member executive body, the Federal Council, approved temporary security measures on Friday that include the deployment of up to 1000 troops and airspace surveillance by the Swiss air force during Wednesday’s summit.

“Switzerland is obliged to ensure the protection of persons who enjoy special protection under international law, such as the American and Russian heads of state,” the Federal Department of Defence said.

The defence department said in a statement commercial flights to and from Geneva’s airport would not be affected by the airspace restriction that runs from 8am on Tuesday to 5pm on Thursday.

with Reuters and The Associated Press

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