The diplomatic language that many had come to expect from Putin was exchanged for harsh personal criticism of Turkish President Erdogan. The Russian leader, when speaking about how the West views their Turkish ally, channeled former American President Ronald Reagan who said of a late Latin American dictator that – quote – “he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard”.
Concerning Syria, Putin said that regime change is absolutely out of the question and that President Assad’s fate is up to Syrians to decide, laying out some political recommendations for how this could happen. And about Ukraine, he said that Russia has no choice but to end the free trade agreement with its neighbor and that the consequences for this fall squarely on the lap of Kiev.
President Putin’s interaction with media was watched by millions of people across the world.
To discuss in more detailed we were joined by Dmitry Polikanov, member of board, PIR-Center think-tank(studio guest); Jan Van Benthem, foreign commentator at the Nederlands Dagblad(The Netherlands Daily); and Anton Fedyashin, Director of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History, Associate Professor at the American University (from Washington).