“Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously?” the Russian president said, according to an interpreter. “If he wants to judge people, why doesn’t he get a job in court somewhere?”
“It’s his point of view. And I have my point of view when it comes to certain things,” Mr. Putin continued.
Moscow has denied it’s responsible for the pro-Russian activists who have taken control of government buildings and stoked violence in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Putin also has expressed support for Ukrainian elections on Sunday and said Russia will respect the results of those contests.
Earlier in the week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden promised more economic sanctions against Russia if it interferes in Ukrainian elections.
In advance of those elections, Mr. Putin announced that Russian troops would be withdrawing from the Ukrainian border, but the White House and international organizations say there’s no proof that has taken place.
“You can’t force people to like you, as we say in Russia,” he said.