Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday described legal proceedings against former US president Donald Trump as “politically motivated persecution.” The Kremlin, seen as having friendly relations with Trump, has repeatedly spoken out in defense of the former president, who is facing a series of charges linked to election interference. “As for the persecution of Trump, for us, in the current environment, it’s good because it shows the rottenness of the American system,” Putin said at an economic forum in the Far East. “It is a politically motivated persecution of one’s competitor.” Putin, who served in the Soviet security services, added: “And this shows who we are fighting … As they said in Soviet times: ‘the bestial face of American capitalism.'” Relations between Washington and Moscow, strained by a litany of issues under Putin, have hit new lows since the Kremlin launched large-scale hostilities in Ukraine. Putin said he did not expect any change in the US foreign policy stance towards Russia regardless of “whoever will be elected president” next year.