Should Russia take US clowning seriously?
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov called White House spokesman Josh Earnest's remarks about the Russian president "outrageous and offensive." In a recent press conference, Earnest stated that the US administration was sharing the view about Putin's corruptness.
"We hope that our American colleagues will give us some explanations on that," Peskov said.
"Such insults in the address of the head of state, such obviously unfounded insults, are hard to analyze. For us, it is even impossible to imagine. I would be honest with you, if I said something like this about the US president, I would be fired," Peskov said.
According to him, on the basis of such statements, Moscow concluded that the United States started preparing for the presidential election in Russia. Noteworthy, Vladimir Putin has not decided yet whether he is going to participate in the election or not.
"Obviously, they are using the issue of Russia and Putin in the internal political electoral game of the United States. They all rush to criticize Russia and Putin - they literally compete in this," said Peskov.
"It is clear that our partners - probably better to say so-called partners - are not happy about Russia's consistent position on Ukrainian and Syrian affairs. While rejecting this position, our American colleagues, unfortunately, come down to personal insults. We are convinced that this is not a demonstration of force. Rather, this is a sign of weakness and impotence. Nevertheless, this will not affect either Russia or Putin," Dmitry Peskov, Putin's press secretary said.
A few days ago, journalists asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest whether the US administration shared the views of Deputy Treasury Secretary Adam Szubin, who expressed his views about the corruptness of the Russian president in a recent BBC documentary.
"Well, the assessment of the Treasury Department I think is the one that is the one that best reflects the administration view. Obviously, the Treasury Department is responsible for enforcing sanctions, and obviously there are significant sanctions that are in place against Russia because of their destabilizing activities inside of Ukraine," Earnest said. Quite a bizarre connection this statement contains, does it not?
A journalist continued: "That's a pretty blunt public statement, though, and that's why it's being asked now because it's something we really haven't heard in so many words before. So if that is the case, a pretty black-and-white statement, why have we not yet seen sanctions against Putin?"
"Well, again, I would encourage you to check with the Treasury Department about the sanctions that they have designed. I think there are probably a variety of reasons for that. The first is, we obviously work closely with our European partners to make sure that we're taking coordinated steps to isolate the Russians and their economy. And so that's certainly part of the equation here," Earnest replied.
Noteworthy, the head of Putin's administration, Sergei Ivanov, called Adam Szubin's remarks "utter rubbish."
State Department spokesman Mark Toner spoke on the same subject. According to him, the United States remains concerned about corruption in Russia at all levels of the Russian government. As for the information about possible sanctions, Toner also recommended to ask this question to the Treasury Department.
Adam Szubin curates the issue of sanctions, including the anti-Russian ones. After these statements, it became known that the interview that the official gave was recorded in summer and was not related to any particular time period.
The above-mentioned US officials did not take efforts to substantiate their words with facts. As they say in the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon - "we just know it." This appears to be normal for the country, whose leaders are never tired of glorifying the US leadership.
A question arises - why now? First off, the statements about Putin and corruption coincide with the British report on the circumstances of the death of Alexander Litvinenko. As the UK has recently said, Russian President Putin was possibly involved in the murder personally. The report has no legal force, but it did not stop British Prime Minister David Cameron from jumping out of his skin to threaten Russia with serious sanctions.
In Washington, the report's findings were called serious and alarming. A few days later, we saw the star of Adam Szubin rising in the press.
If we talk about Syria, we have written a lot about how Putin and Russia stood in the way of the United States and caused damage to American interests. Interestingly, European officials have recently advocated the lifting of sanctions from Russia. Even US Secretary John Kerry expressed his thoughts on that.
Needless to say that the White House is fed up with all the talk about "Obama's weakness." To demonstrate its force, the US administration chooses, among other things, to attack the Russian president. The relations between Russia and the United States are still on a low level, and the Obama administration will not be able to improve them this year. Therefore, the US administration assumed that speaking "rubbish" about Russia would be just fine.
Do we have to expect any development on the topic of Putin's corruption or do they just know it?
Obviously, any improvement of relations between Russia and the United States is out of the question now. The White House has burnt all the bridges.
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
"Stupid approach to isolate Russia and Putin"