Putin Says He Supports Equal Rights for US Black Community

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 via teleconference at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, on April 28, 2020. Photo: Sputnik via Xinhua

MOSCOW, June 15 (Xinhua) — Russia has always supported the black community’s struggle for equal rights but is against violent demonstrations, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Russia now has, and the Soviet Union in the past had, always backed “the fight of African Americans” for their rights, Putin said in an interview with the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV program aired on Sunday.

If the struggle for natural rights, for legal rights, turns violent and brutal, then “I see nothing good for the country here. We have never supported that,” he added.

The mass protests across the United States after the killing of African American George Floyd are “a manifestation of deep-seated internal crises,” he pointed out.

Demonstrators take part in a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the United States, June 13, 2020. Photo: Michael Nagle / Xinhua

Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after being pinned by the neck for nine minutes by a white police officer’s knee while pleading “I can’t breathe.”

“Group and party interests are put above the interests of the whole society and the people,” Putin said.

The coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the internal problems in the United States, he added.