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Russian experts: between Obama and Putin was not originally liking

Remarks by President Obama that the Russian leader in an interview with the Atlantic did not go unnoticed in Moscow

Российские эксперты: между Обамой и Путиным изначально не было симпатии

Danila Galperovich

Russian media loyal to the current government, was transferred to the statements of Obama about Putin in a complementary to the Russian President the key: the phrase “he is not completely stupid” (he’s not completely stupid) some Russian publications were translated as “he is smart”. And the phrase the President of the United States, “he never makes me wait for two hours as he did with some other” (He never keeps me waiting two hours like he does a bunch of these other folks) the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” translated with a slight amendment: “He never made me wait for two hours, as it happened to many others”, and immediately became unclear, who and when forced to wait.

The U.S. and Russia during the second term of Barack Obama and a third term of Vladimir Putin are experiencing unprecedented over the past 30 years, the downturn in relations, and the rhetoric in Washington is similar to the one used at the peak of “cold war”, in the early 80’s. Many observers in Moscow say that last but not least to the degree that rhetoric is affected by the lack of personal sympathy between the two leaders.

However, the main event that increased irritation of Vladimir Putin against the U.S. occurred when the predecessor of Barack Obama: when George W. Bush NATO has expanded at the expense of the Baltic States, Georgia and Ukraine “colour revolutions”, Washington withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile Treaty. And, nevertheless, personal relations between Bush and Putin were good. What has changed after 2012?

Andrei Kolesnikov: Obama and Putin have different policies for different purposes

The expert of the Moscow Carnegie center Andrey Kolesnikov notes in an interview with “Voice of America” that mutual sympathy between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin to occur, apparently, just could not: “of what is called “chemistry”, and even could not be, because they are psychophysically very different people. It seems to me that this policy still has value, despite the ability of politicians to each other to adapt, to be diplomatic – they are very different policies with very different objectives”.

“Putin all these years quietly moved away from the West. What happened two years ago with Crimea is not the beginning of a new era, and the result of its evolution, and this evolution, unfortunately, passed before our eyes. As soon as he was given a new mandate in 2012, we all remember that he started immediately to change the law, and immediately changed the rhetoric in the country – the West gradually became almost literally the enemy” – said Andrey Kolesnikov.

Speaking about the Obama speech against Putin, the expert stressed that the US President was “very diplomatic”: “He, in General, accurately talked about Putin, although he nailed it, he’s still not a key player, although polite in communication”.

Why George W. Bush Vladimir Putin found something in common, and with Barack Obama not found? Andrey Kolesnikov explains that here it is also about what the early 2000s were the times: “Under Bush Putin tried to go towards the West, he found his place among world leaders, tried to be tolerant of his point of view, hostile steps. And he had a psycho-physical coincidence with Bush: Bush, after all, is a simpler, older, is generational, though not large, but the differences with Obama. And with Bush it was easier, though exactly then all these accumulated grievances, which then resulted in its evolution towards greater isolationism, rejection of the West, resentment of the West, evaluation of the West of some substance, who lives by double standards”.

Valery Garbuzov: Barack Obama does not believe Putin’s partner

The acting Director of the Institute of USA and Canada studiesValery Garbuzov examines the personal contacts between American and Russian leaders in the General context of relations between the two countries: “If we talk about the General outline of these relationships, they are at an impasse, and, of course, the two leaders – Putin and Obama – have contributed to the fact that they were in this state, which was”.

In an interview with the Russian service “voice of America”, the scientist said that the President of the United States, while the balance of his statements about Putin refers to the Russian leader obviously negative: “on the one hand, he emphasizes some positive quality, on the other hand, it is clear that Obama have a negative image of the Russian President – head of state, which, according to Obama, his actions shows his weakness. For Obama, Putin is the man who has contributed to the fact that Russia was in isolation from leading Western countries that seeks to restore, if not the Soviet Empire, then, in any case, the influence of Russia on post-Soviet space, and he doesn’t quite succeed. This perception suggests that Obama sees Putin not even as a constructive partner with whom you can negotiate, but as an enemy who goes against the flow”.

Valery Garbuzov agrees that changes the opinion of Putin about the West cooling has started between Moscow and Washington: “a metamorphosis took Place in the Putin. At the junction of the Bush presidency and, perhaps, during the first term of Obama has been a gradual, but noticeable shift of the American vector in our policy: more criticism of the USA, more and more began to appear some of these events that have challenged our relationship. I mean the story of the adoption, history of booth, then the escape of Snowden, and more. It so happened that the accumulated critical mass, and which had probably lead to what it led in the end”.

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