British newspapers traditionally approach President Putin, his statements and actions, with a certain amount of criticism. However, they preferred to change their attitude for the better after Putin’s news conference which he held in the Kremlin for Russian and foreign journalists on February 14. British journalists, who attended the conference, did not conceal their exalted impressions of the event.
Practically all newspapers issued today paid attention to Putin’s witty remarks. Some of them wrote that Russia’s president did not have many rivals in the world of big politics who could compete with him in wittiness and the ability to find precise answers immediately.
Britain’s The Times and its Moscow-based observer, Tony Halpin, who is known for his harsh criticism of Putin’s course, were fascinated with Russian president’s wittiness. The journalist devoted almost his entire article to Putin’s jokes during yesterday’s news conference.
The article titled “The last show for President Vladimir Putin: a heart, a joke and a rattling saber” pays reader’s attention to Putin’s quotes. The author preferred not to emphasize some of Putin’s harsh statements regarding Russia’s foreign policies.
Tony Halpin wrote that the “show” in the Kremlin was abundant with colorful language and jokes, which Putin used exactly where they needed to be used and where he wanted the audience to applaud him.
Putin said during the conference that he had worked his two presidential terms “like a galley slave.” “ Heads of state have no right to drool for any reason. If they are going to slobber and smear snot around and say things are bad, bad, then that's how it will be,” he said.
Attacking Western observers for their attempts to teach Russia democracy, Putin said: “Fine, let them teach their wives to make cabbage soup.”
When a young female journalist asked Putin about demographic problems in Russia and mentioned that she was an expecting mother, the president interrupted the woman saying: “This is wonderful. But what does it have to do with me?” The audience roared with laughter.
Putin pointed out Dmitry Medvedev’s personal charm and said that the latter did not need him [Putin] as a babysitter. The president also said that he did not see the need to hang Medvedev’s portraits in his new office.
Answering a question about the rumored ruble devaluation, Putin resolutely responded that those rumors were untrue. When the reporter asked the president to give more guarantees for that, Putin said: “Do you want me to eat soil from a flowerpot? Make an oath in blood?”
When Putin was asked to comment Hillary Clinton’s statement who said that a former KGB officer could not have a soul, Putin replied: “A state official should at least have brains.”
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov