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10 Apr, 2019 14:26

Putin calls out ‘bandit’ translator for making him sound less friendly

Putin calls out ‘bandit’ translator for making him sound less friendly

Russian President Vladimir Putin branded his translator a “bandit” during a conversation with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, after noticing a not very accurate translation of his words.

The conversation Tuesday followed the international Arctic forum in St. Petersburg, where Russia is attempting to strengthen ties with other states in the region. Putin highlighted the $5 billion Swedish businessmen invested in Russia, referring to them as “druz’ya” (friends), not once, but twice, emphasizing the word.

Approximately five billion in investments by our Swedish friends, and that is what they are, our Swedish FRIENDS, have been invested in the Russian economy.

When the translator repeated the phrase in Swedish to Löfven, however, he used a more neutral term “partners,” that sounds more or less the same in English, Russian and Swedish. The wording didn’t escape Putin’s notice, who immediately made his objection clear.

I said friends, and he translated it “partners,” the bandit,” Putin joked as the translator hurriedly repeated himself with the President’s comradely sentiment in-tact. Putin emphasized that the amiable term was important, as Russia sees the over 500 Swedish companies investing in its economy precisely as friends.

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Both leaders talked about the development of good relations despite disagreement and difficulties. Lofven called Russia “a very important country in the region,” emphasizing large common interest in business. Putin noted a 30 percent increase in trade last year.

Nonetheless, not everyone is hopeful about the uptick in Swedish – Russian relations. This February, two UK based ‘news sources,’ The Independent and The Daily Mail, warned of an impending Russian invasion of the small Scandinavian nation… a “fact” that seemed to come as a surprise to both sides.

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