This is one of the most anticipated interviews of the year: Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, on American television NBC News. So much so that the chain itself has exclusively broadcast some videos advancing the issues and, above all, the uncomfortable questions that the journalist Keir simmons has made the Russian president.
In one of the previews that NBC is already promoting, we can see how the presenter throws the following bomb at him: “Mr. President, are you a murderer?”.
Putin’s reaction, to sing a slight laugh and then reply with a certain sarcasm. But this was not the only tense moment that we will see during this talk.
“The late John McCain called you a murderer in Congress. When President Trump was told that you are a murderer, he did not deny it. When President Biden was asked if he believes you are a murderer, he said, ‘Yes, you are. I think ‘Mr. President, are you a murderer? ”Keir Simmons snapped at Vladimir Putin.
Putin laughs and then defends himself. He says that he has “become accustomed to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretexts and reasons, and of different caliber and ferocity. None of that surprises me ”.
And he adds: “So when it comes to tough rhetoric, I think this is an expression of American culture in general”.
“Of course, in Hollywood, there are some deep things underlying it. Male behavior. Which may be treated as film art, but that is part of the political culture of the United States where it is considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here, ”Putin continued.
“When it comes to harsh rhetoric, I think this is an expression of American culture,” Putin says in the interview. Photo: AP
Faced with the evasions, the NBC presenter insisted with a: “I think I have not heard you answer the direct question, Mr. President.”
“It doesn’t bother me in the least”
Putin replies: “I did, I replied. And I’ll add something if you let me. I have heard dozens of such allegations, especially during some serious events during our counter-terrorism efforts in the North Caucasus. And when that happens I am always guided by the interests of the Russian people and the Russian state and feelings in terms of who calls someone whom and what kind of labels. This is not something that worries me in the least ”.
From here, the tension begins to increase when the journalist counterattacks, contributing several names of murdered political opponents.
“Let me give you some names. Anna Politkovskaya, shot to death. Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with polonium. Sergei Magnitsky, allegedly beaten and killed in prison. Mikhail Lesin died of blunt trauma in Washington … Are these all a coincidence, sir? President?”.
Again, Putin laughs, makes his discomfort clear.
Look, you know, I don’t mean to sound rude, but this seems a kind of indigestionexcept it’s verbal indigestion. You have mentioned many people who actually suffered and perished at different times for various reasons at the hands of different people, “he replied.
He continued: “He mentioned Lesin. Lesin used to work in my administration, I really liked him. He died, passed away or died in the United States. I regret to this day that he is not with us. In my opinion, he is a very decent person “Very good. And, as for the others, we found some of the criminals who committed those crimes. Some are in prison and we are prepared to continue working in this way.”
The interview takes place on the eve of the long-awaited Putin-Biden summit in Geneva, on June 16.
By Mónica Paredes of La Vanguardia