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President Vladimir Putin appeared to channel the stereotype of the uneducated Russian working class this week when he mocked and sponsored an experienced American business journalist. Free your interior gopnik during an interview on stage, he claimed that she must be too “beautiful” to understand his complex point.

The exchange took place on Wednesday during a Russian Energy Week panel in Moscow, hosted by CNBC reporter Hadley Gamble. The journalist had pressured Putin over reports that Russia was suspending gas deliveries to Europe to drive up prices, and after the Russian leader dismissed the allegation, she asked how Moscow could convince its European partners that it was a reliable gas supplier in the light of this information.

“A beautiful, pretty woman. I tell her one thing, and she says something completely different. As if she hadn’t heard what I was saying, ”Putin said, turning to the male members of the audience.

Her chauvinistic joke came as Kremlin-owned media covering Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s visit to Russia went overdrive to make fun of her as just a symbolic woman in government , deploring “the advancement of femininity” in the West.

Russia launches tantrum against ‘crazy’ American women in government

It is clear that these outdated feelings are not so foreign to Putin himself.

“I will repeat it for you once more,” Putin said, before insisting that Moscow has in fact increased its gas supplies to Europe and that there is “nothing to support. [the idea] that we use energy as a kind of weapon.

“Did I really say something so hard to understand?” ” He asked.

He then lambasted European leaders for suggesting that Moscow could use energy as a weapon, calling them “crazy” for expressing such “utter nonsense”.

And although he called it a “politically motivated blah” to suggest that the Kremlin could take advantage of soaring gas prices to get German regulators to approve the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, he said such approval “would be a relief. considerably tensions in the energy market ”.

He later noted that it was “entirely possible” that gas prices would soon hit $ 100 a barrel.

In a separate interview with Gamble on the sidelines of the event, Putin appeared to react defensively to a question of whether he had considered any potential successors.

“I’d rather not answer such questions, that’s my traditional answer,” said Putin, 69. He went on to note that “the situation allows me to run another 6 years but I have not made a decision in this regard.”

According to a Kremlin transcript, the interview ended with a blow to “the citizen” whom many considered his biggest political rival until he was thrown behind bars in a politically motivated case.

“What about Mr. [Alexei] Navalny? Gamble asked the Russian president. “Are you interested in improving their quality of life?

“The citizen you mentioned is now in prison,” he said.

Recognizing that the conditions in Russian prisons are “not the best”, Putin said “he is not alone”.

“There are other people who have also violated Russian laws, and we have no intention of putting them under exclusive conditions, including those who use political activity as a cover.”

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