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Putin accuses Echo radio of pouring 'diarrhoea' on him
rusdialog
This post by our blogger in residency, MAJ Randi Buros USA (Ret.)

Interesting article from the BBC about Putin hosting media elite reads
almost like a scene from The Godfather.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16627415

I'm not a Putin expert or Russian Studies major so the greater context
eludes me. The problem is I'm not sure whether to be impressed at the
honesty or scared of an explicit threat.

In an exchange with Echo radio's Alexei Venediktov Putin criticized
Echo radio for "raving" against Russian opposition to US missile
defence plans in Europe. After Putin mocked the editor of the radio
station, Venediktov admitted to being offended. Putin's responses
seemed chilling--

Venediktov: "Yes, I am offended, I am."

Putin: "So I don't get offended when you pour diarrhoea over me day
and night but you take offence at me--"

Venediktov: "I was kidding, I'm not offended."

Putin: "Well, I'm not kidding."

It seems to me an interesting window into the mind of a powerful man
who is used to getting what he wants. Is this an offer that can't be
refused?

-Buros
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The Kremlin's stated objection to the proposed missile defense system is one of the more nonsensical arguments to come out of Moscow in a long time. Even in light of admissions like Venediktov's, which is not the first time someone close to the Russian military establishment has come out and admitted what Washington has been telling everybody for 2 administrations, Putin's Kremlin will object based on principle alone and because it plays well to the populace.

Seeing as we are going into an election year, I will soon be writing about President Obama's "re-set" as yet another administration's failed foreign policy approach towards Russia, and what the two main Republican contenders (Messrs. Gingrich and Romney) might bring to the table regarding a pragmatic yet effective foreign policy towards Russia (here's a preview: probably not much). In my opinion, the Obama "re-set" was doomed from the beginning, not so much for the incredible linguistic gaffe made by Hillary Clinton's staff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdLClHAMB0

but for President Obama swiftly dismantling the Bush era plans for interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic, sending the absolute wrong message to some of our staunchest allies within the region and appeasing the Kremlin for about 5 minutes, to no great effect. This so alarmed our allies in the region that they sent an open letter to President Obama laying out their concerns, which of course was promptly ignored. After that, the "re-set" for me meant nothing, and it has been followed up by 3 years of the Obama administration following a policy of what basically amounts to strategic disengagement, mirroring in more ways than one the failed Clinton-era policies towards Russia and the Yeltsin years that helped to spawn Russia's "back to the future" man, Vladimir V. Putin.

Here's the open letter, dated 16 July 2009 and originally published in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza:

http://www.rferl.org/content/An_Open_Letter_To_The_Obama_Administration_From_Central_And_Eastern_Europe/1778449.html

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