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Beltway Confidential

Obama: Vladimir Putin is stuck in the Cold War

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin tends to think of the U.S.-Russia relationship in Cold War terms, according to President Obama, adding that the two leaders have a good personal relationship despite Putin’s bad body language when they’re together.

Obama said Putin has increased tensions between the United States and Russia since he returned to the presidency. “We saw more rhetoric on the Russian side that was anti-american [and] played into the old stereotypes about the Cold War,” Obama told reporters during a press conference.

“I’ve encouraged Mr. Putin to think forward as opposed to backward on those issues, with mixed success,” he said.

Obama knocked Putin about the Cold War during his interview with NBC’s Jay Leno on Monday.

“Well, he headed up the KGB,” Obama recalled while joking about dealing with Putin.

Obama added that he and Putin have a good personal relationship, notwithstanding that “he’s got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom” when they meet.

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