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)

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Birdman’ could be the best film of 2014

In this image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Michael Keaton portrays Riggan in a scene from "Birdman."

You’ve heard the buzz for Michael Keaton's "Birdman." It’s loud and it's merited.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Nike hype video welcomes LeBron back to Cleveland

14-overlay4

The video huddles the whole city as "The King" returns home.

in Entertainment

PHOTOS: 31 adorable pets in Halloween costumes

Bailey Jarrett and her dog Teddy visit a Dallas-area PetSmart store on Oct. 25, 2014, for the company's annual in-store Halloween event. The event took place at all PetSmart locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

This Halloween is going to the dogs... and cats, ferrets, and bunnies.

in Entertainment

Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

timcook

Cook wrote a column published on Thursday and said he hopes that his declaration can help others.

in Entertainment, Sports

The best #ChevyGuy tweets from the World Series

bumgarner1

World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner was awarded a new truck with "technology and stuff" by a very nervous Chevy employee and Twitter took notice.