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6 Jan, 2021 11:20

A very patient Putin: Russian President ‘still treats West well’ – despite facing colonial attitudes abroad, spokesman insists

A very patient Putin: Russian President ‘still treats West well’ – despite facing colonial attitudes abroad, spokesman insists

For some, he’s the architect of a hybrid war against the West, responsible for everything from lost elections to the ‘cultural appropriation’ of beetroot soup. But the Kremlin claims Vladimir Putin is still out to make friends.

According to his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president “still treats the West very well,” despite apparently not getting the same back from counterparts in the US and EU. He made the comments during an interview with journalist Vladimir Solovyov on Tuesday.

“It would be stupid to treat the West badly,” Peskov said. “The West has technology, and we lag behind them in many respects. They have a rich culture, and we share in it. We also have the highest level of culture. You can’t help but love it.” However, he hinted that view might not be shared by foreign leaders, adding that “colonial manifestations,” on the other hand, “they need to be hated.”

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However, while Putin and Peskov are well known to be close colleagues – even friends – it seems the President’s fiercest side is reserved for him alone. Admitting that he had, on occasion, faced harsh criticism from his boss for statements made on his behalf, Peskov said it never felt good. “I don’t want to live for a while afterwards. It can be hard, yes.”

Questions about the Russian leader’s character have long dominated discussions about Russia in the West. In 2001, then-US President George W. Bush told journalists that he had looked into Putin’s eyes when the two met and saw into his soul. However, it’s clear that not all American statesmen are gifted with the same powers of vision. US President-elect Joe Biden wrote in his autobiography that he had used one summit to tell Putin, “I’m looking into your eyes, I don’t think you have a soul.”

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Of course, Biden’s recollection may not be entirely accurate. The US President-elect also claimed to have met Leonid Brezhnev during a Soviet-era visit to Moscow. The assertion was later proven to be untrue.

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