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RUSSIA

‘It’s best not to argue with women,’ Putin says of Clinton

Screen grab from TF1
2 min

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that “it’s best not to argue with women” as he dismissed former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s recent comments comparing Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Germany under Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

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Putin’s disparaging remarks were made during an interview with France’s TF1 television and Europe 1 radio, during which he weighed in on a wide range of issues, including tensions over his country’s intervention in Ukraine and this Friday’s commemorations marking the70th anniversary of D-Day in France.

Clinton drew the parallel between Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Hitler’s Germany back in March after Russia began distributing passports to Ukrainian citizens.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ‘30s,” she said at a private fundraiser in California, invoking the Nazi leader’s protection of ethnic Germans outside the country’s borders in the run-up to World War II.

Questioned about Clinton’s comments, Putin said that she had never been “very subtle in her statements,” according to a translation of the interview on TF1’s website.

“When people go beyond certain boundaries of politeness, it demonstrates their weakness, not their strength,” the Russian president said, adding that “weakness, for a woman, is not necessarily a fault”.

Putin also took the opportunity to refute Western allegations that Russia was seeking to destabilise Ukraine, instead accusing the United States and Europe of instigating the crisis by backing an “anti-constitutional armed coup” against former president Viktor Yanukovich.

He also said that he fully expected France to follow through with the sale of two Mistral warships to Russia – a contract that the French government has come under pressure to break over the Ukraine crisis.

Despite tensions being at their worst between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, Putin said that he had no plans to avoid US President Barack Obama when the two attend D-Day commemorations in France later this week. The Russian president also did not rule out the possibility of meeting with Ukraine’s new president-elect, Petro Poroshenko.

“There will be other guests, and I’m not going to avoid any of them. I will talk with all of them,” he said.

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