Russian President Vladimir Putin favorably compared Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the party to Soviet communism in an interview with the Rossiya TV channel released on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

“The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas,” Putin said, reported News Week. “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. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative.”

Putin also highlighted another common value he shares with the American left-wing that the Soviet Union rhetorically supported the civil rights movement for Africans Americans.

Black Americans “constitute a stable electorate” for Democrats, Putin said. “The Soviet Union also supported the African Americans’ movement for their legitimate rights.”

Putin noted Biden has used “sharp anti-Russia rhetoric” against Russia’s foreign policy but praised the Democratic presidential nominee’s comments on New START, the last major nuclear arms pact between Russia and the United States, which is due to expire next year. 

“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.” 

Putin once again denied that Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and stressed that the Kremlin would be open to work with President 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,” he said.

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