Daily US Times: Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of double standards for its treatment of the Capitol rioters.
He said it was wrong for the US to slam crackdowns on anti-government protests around the world, while prosecuting Americans with “political demands”.
Speaking at a forum in St Petersburg, the Russian president set expectations low for his upcoming summit with US President Joe Biden on 16 June in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ties between the US and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War.
On Friday at the International Economic Forum, President Putin addressed some of the diplomatic bones of contention as he said he expected no breakthroughs during the Biden bilateral.
He rejected claims that Moscow had meddled in American elections and denied suggestions that recent cyber-attacks on US companies had originated in Russia.
Mr Putin reserved some of his most stinging criticism for US condemnation of a crackdown on anti-government protests by Russia’s regional ally, Belarus. Mr Putin hit back by suggesting the US Capitol rioters were being treated unfairly.
“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters,” Mr Putin said of the former president Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed Congress on 6 January and temporarily suspended a session to certify Mr Biden as the winner of last November’s election.
“Those people had come with political demands,” he added.
When the forum moderator suggested Mr Putin’s comments about the US Capitol riot could see him banned from social media platforms in the US, the Russian president drew applause from the audience by retorting: “I don’t give a damn about being blocked somewhere.”
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