Russian President Vladimir Putin favorably compared presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic Party to Soviet communism in an interview with the Rossiya TV channel released Wednesday.
Putin once again denied that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and pledged to work with whomever wins the 2020 election, Newsweek reported. But he favorably remarked on the Democratic Party's ideology, comparing it to the old Soviet Union's Communist Party, and said those shared values may be a "basis for developing contacts" with Biden should he win the White House.
"The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas," Putin said. "And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved."
"After all, I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years," Putin added. "I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party's ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values.
"Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless," he continued. "In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative."
Putin also noted the Soviet Union rhetorically supported the civil rights movement for black Americans and suggested this is another common value he shares with the American left-wing in the context of Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.
Black Americans "constitute a stable electorate" for Democrats, Putin said. "The Soviet Union also supported the African Americans' movement for their legitimate rights."
He also tied the civil rights movement to communist ideology.
"Back in the 1930s, Communist International leaders wrote that both black and white workers had a common enemy — imperialism and capitalism. They also wrote that these people could become the most effective group in the future revolutionary battle," Putin said.
"So, this is something that can be seen, to a degree, as common values, if not a unifying agent for us," he explained. "People of my generation remember a time when huge portraits of Angela Davis, a member of the U.S. Communist Party and an ardent fighter for the rights of African Americans, were on view around the Soviet Union."
Although Putin noted Biden has used "sharp anti-Russia rhetoric" against Russian election meddling and Russia's foreign policy, he specifically identified nuclear arms control as an area he's ready to partner with Biden, should the Democratic candidate win.
"Candidate Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty," Putin said. "This is already a very significant element of our potential future cooperation."
He reiterated his willingness to work with Trump or Biden, whomever wins.
"I would like to repeat what I have said more than once before. We will work with any future president of the United States, the one whom the American people give their vote of confidence," Putin said.