Following President Vladimir Putin’s surprisingly aggressive comments to journalists before the G8 Summit, when he threatened to aim missiles at European cities, the Kremlin image team has rushed in for some emergency mop-up work to begin repairing the damage done. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who you remember as Putin’s most experienced flakcatcher, has been dispatched to the press corps to “clarify” and soften Putin’s words. Peskov’s work is greatly assisted by George Bush, who is also reassuring everyone that Russia is not a threat and will not attack Europe.
A lesson in how to apologize without looking like you are apologizing. (art: someecards.com).
On Monday Putin said: “It is clear that if a part of the US nuclear capability turns up in Europe, and, in the opinion of our military specialists will threaten us, then we are forced to take corresponding steps in response. What will those steps be? Naturally, we will have to have new targets in Europe.” Today Peskov said: “It was not some kind of threatening statement on the part of Mr Putin. He was just asked by a journalist if he would be ready, hypothetically to consider re-targeting … and he confirmed that that would be one of the ways Russia could respond.” On Monday Putin said: “I am an absolutely pure democrat.” Today Peskov said: “Of course we are not a perfect country in everything and our democracy is not perfect.” and “Russia is a democratic country that shares common world and common European values.”