In the wide-ranging interview, which is set to air Monday, Putin praised former U.S. President Donald Trump, calling him both an “extraordinary” and “talented” individual.
"Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. President," Putin told NBC News' Keir Simmons. "He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn't come from the U.S. establishment, he had not been part of big time politics before, and some like it some don’t like it but that is a fact."
The Russian president also said while President Joe Biden is "radically different” from his predecessor because he's a "career man" in politics – but said he believes the two will be able to work together.
“...President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” Putin said in part. "That's a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting U.S. president."
Trump was criticized by members of both parties during his presidency for his seemingly close relationship with Putin, in part because of the U.S. president’s denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections.
Biden and Putin have already had a somewhat contentious back-and-forth since the Democratic president took office in January.
Biden in March described Putin as a “killer” in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. When asked if he thought Putin was a “killer,” the president answered: “I do.”
Biden’s remarks came soon after the U.S. declassified an intelligence report that said Russian Putin likely directed a campaign aimed at denigrating Biden in last year’s presidential election.
Asked about the remark during the interview with NBC, Putin responded: "Over my tenure, I've gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me.”
Putin called the "killer" label "Hollywood macho."
The two world leaders are set to meet in person in Geneva next week.
Local authorities announced Thursday that the summit, part of Biden’s first overseas trip as president, will take place in an 18th-century manor house in a public park that looks out onto the lake.
The White House has played down expectations for the summit and said Biden plans to raise Ukraine, arms control, human rights and cyber ransomware attacks with Putin.
Russian officials have said their summit agenda includes strategic stability, global crises, climate change and efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.