On the eve of the summit to be held on Wednesday in Geneva by the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, the head of the Kremlin gave an interview on Friday to the US television channel NBC. Excerpts of Putin’s conversation with journalist Keir Simmons were already broadcast on the same day and will be broadcast in full today.
One of the most tense moments of the interview was when Simmons reminds Putin that “the late John McCain called him 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, he does. ” Next, the journalist asks the Russian Prime Minister directly: “Mr. President, are you a murderer?”.
Putin’s immediate reaction was to drop a laugh, but avoiding answering clearly with a sharp “no”. “During my mandate, I have become accustomed to all kinds of attacks, from all parts and different fields, under different pretexts and reasons, of varying caliber and cruelty, and this does not surprise me,” replied the Russian president.
In his words, the opinion that Biden expressed in March calling him a “murderer” is part “of the underlying culture, for example, the Hollywood label, where macho behavior is praised.” The Russian president believes that such expressions “transcend the art of cinema (…) and are considered normal in the United States, but certainly not here in Russia.”
Seeing that he was going around the bush, the interviewer reproached him for not answering his questionTo which Putin answered yes, “I have answered and I would like, if you will allow me, to also add that I have had to hear dozens of similar accusations during alarming and dangerous situations for Russia.” He referred to the war in Chechnya and stressed that, in such committed moments, “I am always guided by the interests of the Russian people and the state. Feelings as to who rates whom and what kind of labels they put on it is not something that worries me at all.
So Simmons listed the cases of Russian opponents who were killed or attacked, adding even more tension to the interview. «I don’t mean to sound rude, but this is like indigestion, but verbally. Yes, he has mentioned many people who really suffered and died at different times from different causes and because of different people, ”said the head of the Kremlin, smiling again.
In March, when Biden called Putin a “murderer”, Putin had already reacted with poise and derision. “Whoever says it is,” said the Russian president. In his opinion, “this is not a childish expression, it is not a joke. It has a deep psychological meaning because we always see our own qualities in others, thinking that they are like us. «In the history of any country we can find serious, dramatic and bloody events. But when we refer to another person, when we talk about other states and other peoples, we are always looking in the mirror, “he stressed.