As US President Joe Biden prepares for his first summit assembly with Vladimir Putin — who he has known as “a killer” — we have a look at what his predecessors considered the Russian president.
Clinton: Cold and difficult
US president Bill Clinton stated he hung up after congratulating Putin on turning into performing Russian president in 1999 “thinking he was tough enough to hold Russia together.”
Clinton, who had a heat rapport with Putin’s mentor Boris Yeltsin, discovered him chilly however wrote in his memoirs that “Yeltsin had picked a successor who had the skills and capacity… to manage Russia’s turbulent political and economic life better than (the ailing) Yeltsin now could.”
Bush: Bromance to virtually blows
George W. Bush privately known as Putin “one cold dude” earlier than he was elected. But he was charmed at their first assembly in Slovenia in 2001, famously saying he appeared him within the eye to “get a sense of his soul”.
“He’s a man deeply committed to his country,” he added.
The deeply non secular Bush was reportedly touched by a narrative Putin advised him about how a cross his mom gave him was the one factor to outlive a hearth at his dacha (nation home).
His vice-president Dick Cheney, nevertheless, was unmoved saying when he noticed Putin, “I think KGB, KGB, KGB”, referring to the Soviet secret service to which the Russian president as soon as belonged.
But the connection soured on either side with Bush telling the Danish premier in 2006 that Putin was “not well-informed. It’s like arguing with an eighth-grader with his facts wrong.”
Putin stated he wouldn’t be lectured on democracy. “We would not want to have a democracy like in Iraq,” he advised reporters throughout a joint press convention with the US chief.
Bush additionally advised British prime minister Tony Blair that he almost misplaced his cool throughout a gathering with Putin, saying, “At one point the interpreter made me so mad that I nearly reached over the table and slapped the hell out of the guy. He had a mocking tone, making accusations about America.”
When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 Bush confronted Putin immediately on the Beijing Olympics, he wrote in his memoirs.
He advised him he had warned him that the Georgian president was hot-blooded.
“I’m hot-blooded too,” Putin replied.
“No, Vladimir,” Bush retorted. “You’re cold-blooded.”
Obama: Feel the chilliness
Relations between the US and Russia grew to become their chilliest because the Cold War beneath America’s first black president.
Obama did not attempt to conceal his suspicion of the Russian chief. “I don’t have a bad personal relationship with Putin,” he advised reporters in 2013.
“When we have conversations they’re candid, they’re blunt… and constructive. I know the press likes to focus on body language and he’s got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom…”
Recalling Bush’s well-known phrase, his and Obama’s secretary of defence Robert M. Gates wrote in his memoir that when he first appeared into Putin’s eyes in 2007 “just as I expected I had seen a stone-cold killer.”
Trump: ‘I like Putin’
Donald Trump made so little effort to disguise his admiration for the Russian chief that many in Washington puzzled if he had been compromised by the Kremlin spy companies Putin as soon as led.
“I like Putin, he likes me,” Trump insisted final yr, telling the journalist Bob Woodward the “tougher and meaner” strongmen leaders had been, “the better I get along with them”.
Trump stated after a 2018 summit that he was extra inclined to imagine Putin than the FBI over Russian interference within the 2016 US election.
“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he added.
Biden: ‘A killer’
President Joe Biden continued Obama’s arduous line with the Russian chief, warning virtually as quickly as he walked into the White House that that “the days of the United States rolling over” within the face of Kremlin crimes had been over.
Asked if he thought Putin was “a killer”, Biden says, “I do.”
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