News

Biden says Putin has ‘no soul’

Biden says Putin has ‘no soul’

'NO SOUL:'Biden, seen here earlier this month, told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin has no soul, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded after meeting with the Russian leader at the Kremlin in 2011, according to an article in the New Yorker published online on Monday.

Biden told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader.

“I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul,'” Biden told the magazine. “He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.'”

Biden’s assessment is in stark contrast to that of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who famously said after his first meeting with Putin in 2001: “I looked the man in the eye … I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

Biden’s comments were published as the United States and other Western powers expressed outrage with Russia over the downing last week of a Malaysian airliner over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists. All 298 people aboard died.

The United States and other nations blame the rebels for shooting down the plane and they have demanded that Russia and its president, Putin, take responsibility. They also have expressed disgust over the rebels’ mishandling of victims’ bodies at the crash site.

Biden, who has played a large role in the Obama administration’s foreign policy, also discussed his meeting with Ukrainian officials earlier this year, according to the article in the New Yorker’s July 28 issue.

The officials had been seeking U.S. military aid, according to the report, but Biden said the United States could only provide minimal support.

“We no longer think in Cold War terms, for several reasons,” the vice president told the magazine. “One, no one is our equal. No one is close. Other than being crazy enough to press a button, there is nothing that Putin can do militarily to fundamentally alter American interests.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jim Loney and Paul Simao)

Recent Headlines

32 mins ago in Entertainment

Charlize Theron gearing up for ‘Fast 8’

Fresh
charlizetheron

The "Mad Max: Fury Road" star is in early talks to play the villain in the eighth installment of the hugely successful street racing series.

37 mins ago in Entertainment

‘Deadpool’ isn’t even out yet – but a sequel is in the works

Fresh
18-overlay-6

Ryan Reynolds suits up as the homicidal mercenary, aka Wade Wilson, in the adaptation of the Marvel comic book series, which opens Friday.

44 mins ago in Music

Randy Travis performs for first time after stroke

Fresh
randy-travis

The "Forever and Ever, Amen" singer is slowly regaining his abilities following his 2013 health scare which left him unable to walk and talk.

57 mins ago in Entertainment

Move over Whopper, the King is adding hot dogs to its menu

Fresh
22-overlay-7

The world's most famous "dog" is helping the fast food chain promote its latest offering.

1 hour ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Russian egg roulette with Peyton Manning & Magic Johnson

Fresh
16-overlay-12

It's the Super Bowl 50 champ versus the NBA legend.