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15 Sep, 2023 09:55

Americans don't know how to 'tango' – Putin

The Russian president brushed off a US claim that Moscow was unwilling to compromise
Americans don't know how to 'tango' – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded sharply to remarks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who used the phrase “it takes two to tango” to explain the absence of peace talks with Ukraine. The Russian president noted that Blinken hails from a nation known for its uncompromising approach to international relations.  

“As for the Americans, they don’t know how to do this tango themselves. The music is remarkable and the steps are beautiful, but the US seeks to deal with everything from a position of power,” he said on Friday.

Putin added that Washington is typically either unable or unwilling to meet the other party halfway and instead uses economic sanctions, financial restrictions, threats, and force to get what it wants.

Blinken used the idiom during a press conference last week, asserting that Kiev was open to negotiations with Moscow and implying that it was Russia rejecting meaningful diplomacy.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, however, has imposed a legal prohibition on all discussions with Russia. Under the banner of the “Zelensky peace formula,” Kiev’s demands include full control of territories claimed by it, reparations from Russia, and a criminal tribunal for the Russian government.

Washington supports Ukraine’s stance, while Russia has criticized the proposal as detached from reality. Russian officials have repeatedly expressed their willingness to restart peace talks, which were terminated last year when Kiev changed its course during negotiations facilitated by Türkiye, opting instead for a military solution.

Putin responded during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow. Keeping with the dance allusion, he claimed that Kiev kept “dancing to someone else’s tune.” Ukrainians risked forgetting hopak, a dance based on Ukrainian folk traditions that was popularized under the Soviet Union, the Russian leader said. But ultimately, “everyone will have to” learn a Russian dance.