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21 Feb, 2024 12:53

Lavrov comments on Russia’s favorite in race for White House

Neither contender is willing to course-correct bilateral relations, the top diplomat said
Lavrov comments on Russia’s favorite in race for White House

Russia is interested in policies, not personalities, and has no expectation that the US intends to change its antagonistic stance, regardless of who wins the November presidential election, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Brazilian media on Tuesday.

The top diplomat was asked whether Moscow preferred a return of Donald Trump to the White House next year over President Joe Biden staying in office. The interviewer from the Globo media group cited opinions that a new Trump presidency would make it easier to wrap up the Ukraine conflict.

“The ruling elites in the US consider Russia an enemy and a threat regardless of their political affiliation,” Lavrov said.

While Biden “did nothing” in four years to improve relations with Russia, “we do not delude ourselves into expecting the anti-Russian course of the US to change anytime soon,” the minister added.

Claims and counterclaims over which presidential candidate is a “favorite” of Moscow have been an element of US electoral cycles for decades. The ongoing race, in which Biden and Trump are presumed to be nominated by their respective parties, is no different.

While Russian officials traditionally say they will work with whoever American voters choose, Putin somewhat deviated from this position in an interview last week. He said Biden is his preferred candidate, because he is old-school, experienced and predictable. 

Allegations that President Trump was backed by Russia and beholden to it, which stemmed from the Democratic Party’s explanation of why Hillary Clinton lost to him in 2016, undermined his administration. Contrary to what his critics claimed, some of the Republican’s actions at the helm were escalatory, such as his decision in 2017 to supply weapons to Ukraine.

Last week, journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag published the first part of their investigation into the ‘Russiagate’ saga. They claim that US intelligence services engaged foreign partners to spy on the Trump campaign and manipulated evidence to create an impression that it had “colluded” with Moscow.