He invoked God, the pope and the rule of law, and recalled a time when the United States and Russia were allies “and defeated the Nazis together.”
But don’t think for a moment that Vladimir Putin has lost his edge. In a bluntly worded commentary published in Thursday’s New York Times, the Russian president castigated the idea of American “exceptionalism,” essentially called the United States an international bully and said he “carefully studied” President Obama’s speech Tuesday to the nation on Syria, and determined that he disagreed with it.
Still, Putin said his “working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust,” and he welcomed Obama’s willingness to work with Russia on a plan to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.
“If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust,” he wrote. “It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”
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