MOSCOW — Soviet leaders used to prefer Republicans to Democrats, in the belief that Republicans were tough but more sincere and, once they made a promise, were more likely to deliver on it.
There has been a whiff of that old way of thinking in recent remarks by President Vladimir Putin, even though plenty has changed in Russia’s relations with the United States. Speaking to reporters last week, Putin said he appreciates GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s bluntness in his denunciations of Russia — because that stance lets Russia know where it stands, and reinforces Putin’s opposition to a missile defense shield in Europe.
“That Mr. Romney considers us enemy number one and apparently has bad feelings about Russia is a minus, but, considering that he expresses himself bluntly, openly and clearly, means that he is an open and sincere man, which is a plus,” Putin said after a meeting with Serbia’s president.
“We will be oriented toward pluses, not minuses,” Putin said. “And I am actually very grateful to him for formulating his position in a straightforward manner.”
Via The Washington Post