News

Biden says Putin has ‘no soul’

Biden says Putin has ‘no soul’

'NO SOUL:'Biden, seen here earlier this month, told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin has no soul, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded after meeting with the Russian leader at the Kremlin in 2011, according to an article in the New Yorker published online on Monday.

Biden told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader.

“I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul,'” Biden told the magazine. “He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.'”

Biden’s assessment is in stark contrast to that of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who famously said after his first meeting with Putin in 2001: “I looked the man in the eye … I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

Biden’s comments were published as the United States and other Western powers expressed outrage with Russia over the downing last week of a Malaysian airliner over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists. All 298 people aboard died.

The United States and other nations blame the rebels for shooting down the plane and they have demanded that Russia and its president, Putin, take responsibility. They also have expressed disgust over the rebels’ mishandling of victims’ bodies at the crash site.

Biden, who has played a large role in the Obama administration’s foreign policy, also discussed his meeting with Ukrainian officials earlier this year, according to the article in the New Yorker’s July 28 issue.

The officials had been seeking U.S. military aid, according to the report, but Biden said the United States could only provide minimal support.

“We no longer think in Cold War terms, for several reasons,” the vice president told the magazine. “One, no one is our equal. No one is close. Other than being crazy enough to press a button, there is nothing that Putin can do militarily to fundamentally alter American interests.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jim Loney and Paul Simao)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

‘Deflategate’ judge to rule soon after Brady, NFL talks fail

tombrady

The National Football League and its players union failed to reach a settlement in their dispute over New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game "Deflategate" suspension despite weeks of talks.

in Entertainment, Sports

Hulk Hogan begs forgiveness, wants back in WWE

22-overlay16

The wrestling icon is pleading with fans for their forgiveness after he was caught on tape using a racial slur, insisting the controversial comments were made at the "lowest point" of his life.

in Sports

Ronda Rousey wants you to have a ‘knockout’ breakfast

20-overlay15

The MMA champion has teamed up with fast-food chain Carl's Jr. to pitch their latest breakfast creation.

in National

Arctic chills, messy energy politics await Obama in Alaska

16-overlay16

Shrinking glaciers, Arctic temperatures and a mix of messy energy politics await President Barack Obama as he begins his historic trip to Alaska.

in National

As Common Core results trickle in, initial goals unfulfilled

commoncore

Overall scores are higher than expected, though below what many parents may be accustomed to seeing.