Putin: Trump Should Be Respected

October 19, 2017 Updated: October 19, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday President Donald Trump should be respected because he has a democratic mandate.

“He has been elected by the American people and at least because of this he should be respected, even if we disagree with his position”, Putin said at a forum with scholars.

Putin also said that if President Trump is unpredictable, it is because his domestic opponents are stopping him from delivering on many of his election promises.

“Healthcare or something else… As soon as he makes a decision on migrants, a court blocks it straightaway.  It happens all the time. So it is wrong to say that his unpredictability depends only on him. No, it depends on the entire American political system.”

He hoped Moscow could cooperate with Washington in a broader range of fields.

“We have dialogue at the work level and on the level of the special services, the defense ministries, the foreign ministries. We achieve joint results,” Putin said. “We have to expand our cooperation to other spheres.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia October 19, 2017. (REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool)

While talking about North Korea, Putin said he doubted that a possible U.S. preventative strike on North Korea would destroy all of Pyongyang’s weapons.

“Talks about the preventative disarming strike – and we hear both hints and open threats – this is very dangerous and I’ve told about it many times already,” Putin said. “Who knows what and where is hidden in the North Korea? And whether all of it can be destroyed with one strike. I doubt it, I almost sure it is impossible.”

Meanwhile, Putin warned that Russia will respond immediately and symmetrically if the United States quits the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty.

Moscow is ready to develop new weapons systems, both nuclear and non-nuclear, in response to other countries doing the same, Putin said.