While we’ll never know exactly how the phone call went, if you read how the Obama administration described the conversation between Putin and Obama, and how the Russians described it, you’d think they were two completely different phone calls.
Here’s the readout from the Obama admin:
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Every sentence begins with words making it appear that he was in charge, “underscoring,” “making clear,” and “reiterating” his demands to Putin. Now here’s Russia’s version:
Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama’s attention to continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity.
In light of this, the President of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilise the situation. The two presidents agreed that specific parameters for this joint work will be discussed by the Russian and US foreign ministers in the near future.
Vladimir Putin also pointed out that Transnistria is essentially experiencing a blockade, which significantly complicate the living conditions for the region’s residents, impeding their movement and normal trade and economic activities. He stressed that Russia stands for the fair and comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict…
Wasn’t this president supposed to be the best, most persuasive ever? Yet when you read the Russian version it sounds like Obama is cooperating to help Putin “protect” the citizens of Ukraine. The White House version has Obama practically berating Putin, while the Russian version has him going along with Putin’s plans.
Aren’t you glad we have a community organizer in charge of the free world?http://www.ijreview.com/2014/03/125013-obama-putin-phone-call-whole-lot-talking-little-listening/