Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday described legal proceedings against former US president Donald Trump as “politically motivated persecution.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly spoken out in defence of the former president, who is facing a series of charges linked to election interference.
“As for the persecution of Trump, for us, in the current environment, it’s good because it shows the rottenness of the American system,” Putin said at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.
“It is a politically motivated persecution of one’s competitor.”
Putin, who served in the Soviet security services, added: “And this shows who we are fighting … As they said in Soviet times: ‘the bestial face of American imperialism.'”
Relations between Washington and Moscow, strained by a litany of issues under Putin, have hit new lows since the Kremlin launched large-scale hostilities in Ukraine last year.
Putin said he did not expect any change in US foreign policy stance towards Russia regardless of “whoever will be elected president” next year.
He accused Washington of stoking anti-Russian feelings among ordinary Americans.
“Current authorities have directed American society in an anti-Russian spirit,” the Kremlin chief said.
“They’ve done it and now somehow turning this ship in the other direction will be very difficult.”