Putin to Oliver Stone: ‘I like McCain’s patriotism & consistency, but he is living in the past’
In the latest teaser for the yet-to-be-broadcast documentary of Vladimir Putin by film director Oliver Stone, the Russian leader spoke of his respect and discord with Senator John McCain, one of the Kremlin’s fiercest critics since the Cold War.
“Well, honestly, I like Senator McCain to a certain extent. And I’m not joking. I like him because of his patriotism, and I can relate to his consistency in fighting for the interests of his own country,” Putin told Stone in Moscow. The conversations form part of a series of interviews which will be aired in full next week.
Putin went on to compare McCain to the Ancient Roman Senator, Cato the Elder, who routinely signed off his speeches, regardless of the subject, with the phrase, “Carthage must be destroyed.”
“People with such convictions, like the Senator you mentioned, they still live in the Old World. And they’re reluctant to look into the future, they are unwilling to recognize how fast the world is changing.”
During a visit to Australia last month, the 80-year-old Senator called Putin “the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS."
“They do not see the real threat, and they cannot leave behind the past, which is always dragging them back,” said Putin who spoke to Stone in February.
“Unfortunately there are many senators like this in the United States.”
Touted as “the most detailed portrait of Putin ever granted to a Western interviewer,” the four-part documentary series, due to premiere next week, will feature exchanges between the Russian leader and the acclaimed Oscar-winning director that were held during more than a dozen encounters over two years.