So much for the smart power and reset button baloney…
Vladimir Putin went on Larry King tonight to discuss the Wikileaks scandal.
The Russian Premier said the assessment of his relations with President Medvedev, comparing the two to Batman and Robin, was arrogant and unethical.
Russia Today reported:
Premier Putin also warned the US not to interfere with Russian affairs.
Pravda reported on the interview:
One could predict that King would ask Putin about the WikiLeaks documents. The legendary host was interested in Putin’s reaction to the statements from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who supposedly told his French counterpart that “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.”
When answering the question, Putin stated that Gates was “deeply misled.” Putin referred to peculiarities of the US election system saying that in two presidential elections held in the United States, the winner had received a smaller share of the popular vote but won with a majority in the Electoral College, where votes are apportioned by state population.
“When we are talking with our American friends and tell them, there are systemic problems in this regard, we can hear from them ‘Don’t interfere with our affairs. This is our tradition and it’s going to continue like that.’ We are not interfering,” he said. “But to our colleagues, I would also like to advise you, don’t interfere either [with] the sovereign choice of the Russian people.”
As for suggestions about Putin holding the real power in Russia, the prime minister said that they were aimed “to slander one of us” (either Putin or Medvedev).
Anyway, the WikiLeaks publications are not a catastrophe, Putin believes. Some experts believe that someone expressly briefs WikiLeaks to use this for their own political ends later, Putin said. He suggested that diplomatic services should be more careful about their official correspondence.